Owner facing charges after shooting terminally ill dog

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WPVI) -- A Virginia man is facing animal cruelty charges after he says he shot his beloved dog to end her suffering.

Michael Whalen says his dog, 15-year-old Allie, had been suffering from a terminal disease called Cushings for about a year.

Last month, the dog started having a violent seizure, so Whalen says he shot her to put her out of her misery.

"I got on 10, 15 minutes, I said this is it, she's dying," he recalled.

Whalen says it was something he's never seen before and the vet was too far away. So he took matters into his own hands.

"I euthanized her myself. I have a small handgun and I thought this will painless and instantaneous. and then I broke down. It was the most painful and emotional thing I had ever done," he said.

He says he then wheelbarrowed Allie to the beach and buried her where she loved to be.

Authorities say this is not a legal form of euthanasia, but Whalen defends his decision.

Whalen is expected to face animal abuse and dumping charges in June.

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