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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Man stabbed his dog, dumped pet in garbage bin, police say

UPDATED: Thu., May 28, 2020

Spokane police officers arrested a man suspected of animal cruelty Wednesday after he stabbed his dog and threw it in a dumpster to die, according to witnesses.

Two women having lunch together in their parked car in the 3000 block of East 57th Avenue heard a dog yelping and spotted two men walking with a dog. One of the men, later identified as Lawrence Cirner, 48, was hitting his dog, Sponge, according to court documents.

Witnesses said they heard the women confront Cirner before they saw him throw Sponge into the dumpster.

“Ma’am, I’m homeless, and it’s too late. I had to do it. I had to stab him,” Cirner said to the women, according to reports.

The man walking with Cirner told police he only knew Cirner as “Larry” and didn’t participate in Sponge’s stabbing or dumping.

Witnesses tried to follow the two men until Cirner held up a knife. Once the two men left the area near the intersection of 57th and Regal, witnesses found Sponge alive but seriously injured and drove him to a local veterinary hospital where he died.

Spokane County Sheriff’s deputies searched the area but could not find Cirner. According to court documents, a deputy photographed blood in and around the dumpster and found a dog collar inside it.

A SCRAPS Animal Protection Officer later found Cirner in the 2600 block of East 29th Avenue, where Spokane police officers took Cirner into custody without incident.

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