NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Florida -- A 31-year-old New Smyrna Beach man is under arrest for allegedly sicking a dog on an opossum, stomping on the opossum, and then finally decapitating the animal with an axe. Volusia County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Alan McCarty early Thursday morning after finding the decapitated opossum along with blood stains and a bloody axe outside the defendant’s residence on Hickory Street near New Smyrna Beach, Florida.
Initially, Volusia deputies didn’t know anything about the dead animal. They were responding to a disturbance after the Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call from the residence. While the caller didn’t say anything to the dispatcher, she could be heard arguing with a man. When deputies began arriving at the scene at 1:19 a.m., they were told that McCarty had killed an opossum in an especially cruel way.
A witness told deputies that McCarty stuck the opossum in the dog kennel with their pet dog -- apparently hoping to spark an animal fight. When the animals didn’t engage, McCarty got angry and stomped on the opossum. He then let the wounded animal out of the cage so the dog could attack it. But when the dog wouldn’t kill the opossum, deputies say McCarty decided to do it himself -- striking it with an axe several times until its head was torn away from its body. When deputies arrived, the head and body were about 10 feet apart.
Upon questioning, McCarty allegedly tried to put the blame on his girlfriend, saying he killed the opossum to end its suffering after his girlfriend intentionally let her dog out and it attacked the animal. Deputies charged McCarty with a felony count of animal cruelty. He was booked into the Volusia County Branch Jail in Daytona Beach on $1,000 bond.