WA man charged in hatchet attack on neighbor's dog

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ORTING, Wash. (AP) -- An Orting, Wash., man accused of enticing his neighbor's dog with dog treats and then severely beating the animal with a hatchet has pleaded not guilty to first-degree animal cruelty and related counts.

A veterinarian says Kona the golden retriever is improving after suffering a crushed skull, broken jaw and blood-filled eyes.

Police responded Tuesday to a 911 call about a dog beating. Officers found the dog tied up in Ricky Lee Knowles' garage.

Dog owner Sam Hokanson says Knowles had complained before about the dog's barking but the men had spoken and Hokanson thought they had come to an agreement.