March 25, 2017 06:01 PM

A Virginia man who claims he shot his 15-year-old dog to end her suffering and then buried her at the beach is facing animal cruelty charges, according to a report by 13News Now.

Michael Whalen, a 65-year-old resident of Virginia Beach, Virginia, told the news outlet that his dog Allie had been suffering from Cushing’s disease, which is terminal, for about a year. But when the veterinarian talked about putting her down in February 2016, Whalen tells News 3, he didn’t feel the time was right.

“Allie was not ready. I was not ready. She was still having fun. She wasn’t in ill health. I got her stable on her medication,” he told the outlet.

13 News Now

But Allie’s condition took a turn for the worse in February, when Allie began seizing uncontrollably, according to News 3. “She was not coming out of this,” Whalen told the station.

Allie’s body was found partially buried Feb. 10 with a head wound, according to News 3. The outlet discussed standards and policies to a local veterinarian, who told News 3 that a gunshot wasn’t considered a legal form of euthanasia.

“The options were to sit here and let her do this until she expired, or to put her in the car, which [would mean] I couldn’t control her and it would have been dangerous for me to drive trying to keep her airway open,” Whalen told The Virginian Pilot.

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News 3 reports that Whalen is expected to appear in court in June, and that his attorney George Yates simply felt like his client was acting how anyone would in his situation.

“We feel that he did what a pet owner is required to do,” Yates told the outlet. “Take care of their animal and when their animal is suffering to properly euthanize the animal.”

“It was so emotionally disturbing,” Whalen admitted to News 3. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to go through this in my mind and sometimes I’ll just start crying.

“We did everything together. She went everywhere with me. I even took her on a vacation trip one time on my motorcycle,” he added in his interview with News 3. “This was a very sad and painful story, and I did nothing but help my dog leave this world.”

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