Man accused in K9's death faces judge

Wethersfield police Officer K9 Thor died this week. (Wethersfield Police Department)

More than four months ago, a Wethersfield police K9 was killed in the line of duty.

On Tuesday, the man arrested in connection to the dog’s death faced a judge.

Chauncey Smith of Hartford had a lot to say in court. He’s facing a number of charges, including animal cruelty, for leading police and K9 Thor on a chase, and causing injuries that resulted the 3-year-old dog’s death.

Thor was on the Wethersfield police force for two years, finding evidence and helping to capture suspects.

On Tuesday, a group of animal law activists known as Desmond’s Army showed up at court to support Thor and his handler.

"He has the audacity to complain about his life. He has wrecked the lives of many,” said Christine Kiernan, of Desmond’s Army.

"He doesn't care. You could see in court his demeanor in court was terrible so nothing means anything to him,” said Deborah Vitale, of Desmond’s Army.

Police said last November, Smith was wanted for allegedly kidnapping a woman.

When they caught up with him at a Motel 6 in Wethersfield, they say he took off into the woods.

That’s when K9 Thor went after him, but soon went missing.

Court documents reveal "after an hour or more of searching, K9 Thor was located in the woods, next to a brook, partially submerged in the water suffering from several injuries."

The documents continued to say "the attending veterinarian told me that Thor had suffered severe trauma to his abdomen, caused by a fall or due to physical abuse caused by a human being."

"They may never know what happened in those woods but that dog went down in the line of duty so its but for that act, Thor would still be with us,” Kiernan said.

As the Wethersfield Police Department continues to grieve this loss, Smith remains in jail.

He's due back in court on May 5, and faces a number of other charges, including assault and violating probation as well as a protective order.

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