Man arrested for animal cruelty after ex-girlfriend says he beat her dog to death

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ARAB, Ala. – An Arab woman is fighting for justice after she told News 19 her dog was beaten to death by her ex-boyfriend.

Jill Burgett told News 19 Friday she is scarred after what could be the most traumatic event in her life. 

She said she came home last Monday and her normal greeter, a 3-year-old Jack Russell Terrier mix named Jax, was nowhere to be found.

She said the last person to see him, her ex-boyfriend James Whitley, was not responding to her calls or texts.

“I’m angry and I’m lost without my Jax right now,” said Burgett.

What she found in her bedroom shook her to the core.

“All week I found blood evidence and I found a bloody rag in my garbage can and I knew something bad had happened,” she added.

She showed News 19 the now dry blood, smeared and stained on her mattress, box spring, bed frame, and flood board.

“You can tell that my Jax fought for his life. He was trying to get out and I feel like he was trapped,” Burgett said.

It wasn’t until three and a half days later, she found Jax’s body on the side of a Hartselle road in what Burgett said was Whitley’s duffel bag.

She said she found it at the instruction of Whitley.

“It’s still hard to believe that my baby’s not here. He should be. He doesn’t deserve what he got. He got a brutal beating and he did not deserve that,” she said.

Burgett told News 19 she feels guilty because she knows Whitley’s temper runs hot and knows he didn’t like Jax.

“I had to call the police on him in January. He had hit me, I had bruises. Jax was my baby. He was like my kids I will never be able to forgive myself and I have to live with that,” Burgett explained.

She told News 19 that Whitley confessed to beating Jax to death with a wrench to investigators.

Arab police would not confirm that Whitley confessed but do say there was enough evidence for an arrest.

Burgett said while she is happy her ex was arrested, she is disappointed that he was released on bond. She wants stricter animal abuse laws should be in place to protect other family pets in the future.

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