By Patti Weaver


(Stillwater, Okla.) — A Stillwater man, who pleaded guilty last week to stabbing the family dog with a knife 14 months ago, remains free pending his sentencing on June 7 on an animal cruelty charge.
    Bruce Patrick Jackson, 25, whose wife obtained an emergency protective order against him and filed for divorce, does not have an agreement with the prosecution regarding his penalty, which can be as much as a five-year prison term.
    Stillwater Police Detective John Paul Johnson wrote in an affidavit, “While investigating a related threats and domestic abuse case, allegations of animal cruelty were made concerning Jackson” whose estranged wife said “Bruce had stabbed the family dog with a hunting knife and beat it over the head with a hammer.
    “At the time, she believed the dog was dead due to the injuries it sustained in that incident.”
    She described the dog named Sunshine as a Labrador/Pitbull mix that was light tan with a white spot on its back paw, the affidavit said. She said that the couple had lived together for about a year and then he “started to become mean and cruel” to her, the affidavit alleged.
    She said, “Bruce started punching walls and bought a hunting knife for no legitimate reason. (She) said Bruce would kick and throw their first dog (not the same dog as in this case) across the room or throw it outside where it would land on its head.
    “She said she didn’t want the dog to get hurt, so she took the dog to the animal shelter and surrendered it,” the affidavit alleged. She said his aggression got worse after they moved to another location in Stillwater, the affidavit alleged.
    “She said he punched holes in the walls and they argued often. She recognized that Bruce was controlling her,” the affidavit alleged.
    She said, “it really got worse in the week surrounding 2/2/2021 when Bruce killed their dog (which is the dog in this case.) She said Bruce had been mad at the dog all day because it defecated in the house.
    “She said Bruce stabbed the dog with the hunting knife. She said Bruce then took the dog outside and hit the dog in the head with a hammer.
    “She said Bruce told her that if he didn’t do that to the dog, then he would have done it to her. She said she was scared and did not know what to do or who to call,” the affidavit alleged.
    “In a follow-up interview with her on 3/9/2021, I learned that the dog in this case was not actually dead but was in the custody of Animal Welfare. She said that a mutual friend was doing community service work at Animal Welfare and recognized the dog, who had been renamed Ruby at this point.
    “She contacted Animal Welfare and verified it was their dog. She said she was told that a neighbor had seen the dog tied up to a tree behind the trailer park and called Animal Welfare,” the detective wrote in his affidavit.
    An animal control officer “provided me with several photos of the dog in the bloody condition in which it was found, as well as photos of the scene where the dog was found, and photos of some bloody clothing.
    “I also found the Facebook posts of Ruby made by Animal Welfare and the Humane Society of Stillwater, which show that the dog is alive and healing,” the detective wrote in his affidavit that was filed a year ago.
    The animal control officer reported that on Feb. 5, 2021, at 4:55 pm, someone called about a red hound and pit-type dog tied to a tree behind the 2800 block of E. Raintree Drive in Stillwater, the affidavit said.
    “The dog was tied very closely to a mesquite tree (large thorns) and was bleeding badly. As we approached, we could see deep puncture wounds on the top of the head, side and flank. We removed the dog by cutting the rope that she was tied to the tree with and were able to load her into the truck,” before taking her to the Cimarron Veterinary Clinic where the dog was treated and then returned to Animal Welfare, the detective wrote in his affidavit.
    A neighbor said “he was walking his own dog around the back of the trailers in the park where the grass was mowed and saw the dog tied to a tree. He said there was barely any slack in the rope that the dog was tied with — so little in fact that if the dog tried to sit down, then it would be strangling itself.
    “(The neighbor) said that when Animal Welfare officers cut the dog loose, he saw the bloody gash in its side,” but did not see who tied the dog to the tree, the affidavit said.
    The detective wrote in his affidavit, “I attempted to contact Bruce for a further interview concerning what happened to the dog, but he did not have a phone number.” The detective left a message with the defendant’s relative for Jackson to call when he got off work, the affidavit said.