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CHARLESTON (JG-TC) -- A Charleston man has been charged with an animal cruelty offense for allegedly cutting off part of a dog's tail.

Jeffrey D. French, 58, is accused of using tree shears to cut the dog's tail during what police say was an argument with neighbors on June 20.

Reports indicate that French and the neighbors both said French was upset about the neighbors' dogs barking, Charleston police Chief Bryan Baker said. He said the dog was treated for the injury after the incident, which took place in the 1100 block of Jefferson Avenue.

French was charged in connection with the incident last week and an arrest warrant was served on him on Monday, according to Coles County records. He posted bond and is awaiting his first court appearance, records show.

The charge against French, aggravated cruelty to animals, is a felony offense alleging serious injury to a "companion animal." It can result in a prison sentence of one to three years or up to 2 1/2 years of probation with a conviction.


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