UPDATE 4/11/23 5:06 p.m.: The Lee County Sheriff’s Office released new details in this animal abuse case.

According to the sheriff’s office, Wheeless admitted to killing one of his dogs because the dog urinated on the carpet. Deputies say they were able to confirm the dog was brutally killed and buried in a shallow grave in a wooded area behind the residence.

SMITHS STATION, Ala. (WRBL) – Horrific allegations of animal abuse surfacing after a Smiths Station man is accused of torturing and killing a puppy with a hatchet. 

WARNING: WRBL warns the details we are about to share with you are extremely graphic. Please use caution.

Lee County Sheriff investigators say on Sunday, April 2 they responded to a mobile home along Lee Road 240 in the Smiths Station community for a complaint of animal abuse.

When investigators arrived they determined 27-year-old Eric Wheeless struck a seven-month-old puppy with a hatchet in the shoulder, then choked the pup until the animal was unconscious. Investigators believe Wheeless then sliced the animal’s esophagus with the hatchet. Wheeless finally killed the puppy by hitting the animal in the head with the hatchet.

Wheeless was arrested on April 4th, and booked into the Lee County Detention Facility on Aggravated Cruelty to Animals, a felony. He remains in jail.

Lee County investigators are expected to release additional details later on Tuesday afternoon. WRBL will keep you updated.