Police say a Klamath Falls man assaulted his girlfriend for several hours, and then stabbed their family dog several times early Thursday morning.
Prosecutors say it's just one example of the role pets can play in cases of domestic violence.
Charges against 30 year old Patrick James Robinson include second-degree assault, kidnapping, and aggravated animal abuse.
Patrol Sergeant Morrie Smith of the Klamath Falls Police Department says officers were called to a home on Crescent Avenue, and spoke with the victim...
"Who stated that her boyfriend threatened her multiple times with a knife, grabbed her around the neck, threatened her with a knife, and threatened to kill her."
Sergeant Smith adds that Robertson is accused of assaulting his girlfriend for nearly three hours...
"During the assault, they have a pit bull dog, which he also stabbed, and the dog appeared to have significant wounds."
While no one will go on the record about the dog's condition, the pit bull was stabbed several times.
Police and animal control officers say they aren't sure whether or not the dog survived the attack. But a domestic violence coordinator with the Klamath County District Attorney's Office says that it's not unusual for pets to be a factor in cases of domestic violence.
"Pets can be used against a victim as a threat to say, 'if you don't do this, I'm going to hurt your pet." Says Deputy District Attorney Gillian Fischer. "Victims often don't feel comfortable leaving an abusive situation because they can't take their pet with them often."
Those who abuse pets are more likely to abuse other people.
"In addition, people that witness animal abuse, children that witness animal abuse, are more likely to either be victims, or perpetrators of violence." Adds Fischer.
The woman was treated and released...we're told she took the dog for treatment...but we're unsure of the dog's condition.
There have been 114 cases of domestic violence so far this year in Klamath County.
The Klamath Crisis Center recently built a kennel to help house pets of victims who are displaced by violence.