Two Ozarks teens are suspected of throwing a puppy to its death from 100 feet up in a tower and one reportedly bragged about it in school.
The boasting led a woman to contact the Texas County Sheriff's department last week.
According to court records reviewed by KY3 in Springfield, Taylor DeWolfe, 17, and an unnamed juvenile admitted to intentionally killing the puppy. Both are students at Houston High School in southwest Missouri.
The case is heartbreaking, Joe Lewis, a veterinarian at Mountain View Animal Clinic in Mountain View, Mo., told KY3.
"Well it makes me sad," Lewis said. "One for the animal, also for the people that did it, that they think that way."
Sheriff's officials say the two admitted to driving to a fire lookout tower on Highway 38 north of Houston with the intent to throw the puppy from the tower.
With stairs leading up to the top, the tower is no longer used, according to the Houston Herald newspaper, but still stands without fencing or signs warning the public to stay away.
DeWolfe reportedly told deputies he carried the puppy up the stairs to the highest platform and the other boy threw the dog from about 100 feet up. When they returned to the bottom, the other boy threw the dead dog into a nearby ditch, DeWolfe told authorities.
DeWolfe told authorities the juvenile later called and said he had bragged about what they'd done to classmates at school and they'd better move the dog, the Herald reported. DeWolfe reportedly told deputies he went back to the scene, put the dog in his trunk and left it on the side of Highway Z.
DeWolfe faces charges of animal abuse, trespassing and tampering with evidence. The animal abuse charge is not a felony because "the dog was not tortured while alive," Texas County prosecuting attorney Parke Stevens Jr., told the Herald.
People online have expressed outrage over the killing, with many wishing the punishment could be harsher.
"What the hell is wrong with people? Any kind of animal abuse should be a felony!" wrote one woman on the Herald's Facebook page.
DeWolfe also faces theft charges because he told deputies he and the other boy drove around the county stealing road signs, too, court records show.
Ozark Radio News reported DeWolfe was released on bond and that no court date has been set.
Authorities don't know why the boys allegedly killed the dog.