Pennsylvania man who fatally shot dog, then lit animal on fire sentenced to prison – WHIO TV 7 and WHIO Radio

A Pennsylvania man was sentenced to two to four years in state prison on Wednesday after pleading guilty to fatally shooting his dog and then burning it on a barbecue grill, prosecutors said.

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Nikolay Lukyanchikov, 50, of Northampton Township, pleaded guilty to counts of receiving stolen property, aggravated cruelty to animals, possessing an instrument of crime, cruelty to animals and recklessly endangering another person, the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office stated in a news release.

Lukyanchikov adopted Bonanza, an 8-year-old greyhound, from the National Greyhound Adoption Program in Philadelphia after the animal was rescued from a Macau, China, racetrack in February 2019, according to Philly Voice. Animal rights activists had called the track “the worst hellhole for racing greyhounds in the world,” the district attorney’s office said.

Lukyanchikov renamed the dog Preacher in October 2019.

According to prosecutors, police in Northampton Township were called to a residence at 7:12 am EDT on April 30, 2021, over a report of a firepit and a couch on fire in the front yard.

Officers arriving on the scene said they saw Lukyanchikov sitting on a bench near the fire, throwing fake $100 bills into the firepit and squirting it with lighter fluid. Police also saw a 9 mm handgun on the bench, the news release stated.

Officials said Lukyanchikov was “incredibly intoxicated” with a .25 blood-alcohol level and unable to speak, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

After the fire was put out, police observed an unknown animal “badly burned and charred” on top of a small metal charcoal grill, the district attorney’s office stated. A necropsy later determined that the dog had been shot at least once in its eye.

“It scares me because you know you’re not supposed to have a gun, and yet you kept pursuing one,” Common Pleas Judge Raymond F. McHugh said during Lukyanchikov’s sentencing. “You should not have a gun, period.”

Bucks County deputy district attorney Robert D. James said Lukyanchikov claimed he killed Preacher to put the dog out of its misery, but also admitted he had been having a bad day, Philly Voice reported. The weapon used to kill the animal was stolen from a friend’s widow a week before the shooting incident, the newspaper reported.

“I think it’s fair to characterize him as a dangerous person who demonstrated his use of a gun on an animal,” James told the Inquirer. “And it’s not a stretch to think he’d use it on a human.”

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