Police have charged 65-year-old Miriam Smith of Spartanburg, SC with felony animal cruelty after she admitted to hanging her nephew's pit bull from a tree with an electrical cord and burned its body because the dog chewed on her Bible.
Smith's nephew told officers he left the animal at the home he shared with his aunt during the recent winter weather. After returning, he could not find the dog, named Diamond, and he assumed she had broken the chain that kept her on the home's front porch, according to a report filed by a Spartanburg County environmental enforcement officer. The man later told officers his aunt admitted to killing the animal, calling it a “devil” dog, and authorities were called to investigate. After officers responded to the home, the woman told them she killed the dog because it had chewed her Bible and she feared for the safety of neighborhood children. Officers found the dog's body, which had been partially burned, lying in a pile of dried grass. An orange extension cord had been tied tightly around the dog's neck and in its mouth.Miriam, who has been described by neighbors as a Jesus freak, faces 180 days to five years in prison if convicted.