A North Carolina man has been arrested for strangling to death his girlfriend’s pet Chihuahua in a bizarre attack.

Motive: It is unclear what the man’s motive for strangling the two-year-old dog, pictured, was

Cory Morgan Gray, 24, of Wilmington, was booked on preliminary charges of felony cruelty against animals on Friday after allegedly killing Jenna Branham’s six-pound puppy Charlie while she was at school.

‘I found him there, I found little Charlie,‘ a devastated Branham told WWAY 3. ‘He just looked so in pain and so tense. He just looked so pitiful and helpless.’

It’s unclear what the man’s motive for strangling the two-year-old dog was.

But the Cape Fear Community College student, who ended the couple’s relationship after discovering her pet limp and lifeless, said she was struggling to deal with the loss of the animal.

‘Our dogs are not our pets they are a member of our family and it’s equally as hard losing him because he was like my child,’ she said.

Happy couple: Branham, right, quickly changed her relationship status to ‘single’ on Facebook after discovering boyfriend Gray, left, had killed her dog

After spending just an hour in jail, Gray was released on a $5,000 secure bond and is scheduled to appear in court today.

The Branham family is trying to raise awareness about animal cruelty cases, claiming the punishment Gray is facing is not harsh enough.

‘Unfortunately the law views pets as possessions and they are not possessions at all,’ Jenna’s mother, Donna Branham, told the TV station.

‘If Charlie had been a person it would be murder. But it’s animal cruelty. It’s not animal cruelty, it’s animal murder. He murdered this dog.’

Messages of support poured in for Branham on Facebook, where she changed her relationship status from ‘in a relationship’ to ‘single’ on Friday, soon after posting ‘RIP Charlie baby. I love you so much’ on her wall.

The part-time waitress later added: ‘Thank you all for your support, thoughts and prayers. A little piece of my heart is gone now, but will never be forgotten.’

News Link:http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2194121/Cory-Morgan-Gray-Student-distraught-boyfriend-strangled-death-pet-Chihuahua-Charlie.html