MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Animal torture charges have been filed against the former tenant of a Twin Cities woman whose dog was beaten to death earlier this month.

Jacob Germain, 22, is charged via a warrant with one felony count of animal torture, court documents filed in Washington County show. Germain is not currently in custody.

According to a criminal complaint, Germain was the only one with the dog, an 8-year-old Bichon Frise named Froto, at his former home in Willernie on Jan. 3.

When his landlord, Gemma Barry, returned home that night, she found Froto wounded and bleeding from his mouth and ears.

“He was just lying there like a wet rag,” Barry told WCCO. “He was just shaking.”

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She rushed Froto to an emergency veterinary clinic in Oakdale. He had suffered broken ribs, a punctured lung and wounds to his face. The veterinarian determined the injuries were the result of blunt force trauma.

Froto was euthanized. He had been with Barry since he was 2 years old.

The morning after her dog’s death, Barry kicked Germain out of her house. While she had lived alone with Froto, she rented rooms to two tenants. Germain moved in just a few months ago, responding to a Craigslist ad.

When police spoke with Germain on the night of Froto’s death, he appeared nervous and aware of the reason why officers were talking with him, the complaint states. He admitted to yelling at Froto, but not touching him.

Barry told officers that in the weeks before the beating, Froto had become increasingly skittish, especially around Germain.

Police have not been able to find Germain since he left Barry’s home.

If convicted of the animal torture charge, he faces a maximum sentence of two years in prison and/or a fine of $5,000.

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