A Baltimore police officer has been charged with killing his girlfriend’s 7-month-old puppy after it went to the bathroom on the carpet in his residence in Silver Spring, Montgomery County police said.

Alec Eugene Taylor, 27, of the 13800 block of Castle Boulevard, told police he chased the Jack Russell terrier, named Rocko, from behind a dryer and then strangled it until it was dead.

Taylor’s girlfriend called police, saying Taylor had texted her Feb. 26 to tell her he killed the dog after it defecated on the carpet and included a photo of the animal’s lifeless body. In a follow-up phone call, Taylor said he was tired of cleaning up the dog’s feces and had beaten the dog with a mop, according to police.

Taylor, a five-year veteran of the Baltimore department, was suspended without pay pending the outcome of the case, according Lt. J. Erick Kowalczyk, a spokesman. “Allegations of animal cruelty are taken seriously by the Baltimore Police Department,” Kowalczyk said in a statement. “Over the course of the last year, significant emphasis has been placed on developing and training investigators to handle animal abuse incidents.”

Taylor told the girlfriend he placed Rocko’s body in a trash bin in a parking lot, police said. The girlfriend asked him to retrieve it. When she returned home from work that night, she found the dog’s body in a shoe box on the apartment balcony. She buried Rocko in a neighborhood park in Hyattsville.

Alec Eugene Taylor is being charged with aggravated animal cruelty and abuse or neglect of an animal. (AP/AP/Montgomery County Police)

Montgomery County animal control officers recovered the dog and a necropsy was performed, showing that Rocko’s cause of death was related to blunt force trauma that damaged the dog’s liver.

Taylor turned himself in to authorities. He is being charged with aggravated animal cruelty and abuse or neglect of an animal. No bond information was available.

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