Animal control officials said a neighbor was apparently annoyed by the dogs barking, and running free Sunday night. Witnesses said the neighbor chased down, then stabbed and cut the animal with a sword.
The dog will survive, but the owner told ABC11 that he is heart-broken.
"It hurt me. It hurt me to the bad," said Levan McDaniel.
McDaniel can't believe a neighbor mutilated his dog.
"Slashing up a dog," he said. "It don't make no sense what was he getting out of slicing at the dog?"
Cumberland County Animal Control officers said they can't believe it either.
"He mutilated the animal," said Sgt. Gilbert Williams, with Animal Control. "He didn't try to kill the animal, just physically deform the animal."
The man accused of cutting the dog is an unidentified neighbor. Investigators said the attack happened outside of McDaniel's Spring Lake home.
McDaniel said his three dogs got out of his fenced yard and ran free. Two of his dogs jumped back in the yard, but his third pet didn't limp home until Monday.
At first, McDaniel thought his dog was hit by a car, but another neighbor told him the awful truth.
"His neighbor saw a gentleman caring a sword around the neighborhood and seen him going towards the animal," said Williams. "The dog was not actively aggressive towards him. He just actively went after, tried to attack the animal."
Williams said a local veterinarian treated the wounded dog. The two-year-old shepherd mix was then sent to an animal rescue group in South Carolina.
Animal control officers said this is one of the worst cases of animal cruelty they have ever seen.
McDaniel said he isn't sure he will ever understand why.
"I mean, if my dog was barking, why didn't he come and tell me," he said.
McDaniel said he reluctantly gave up his dog, which will be put up for adoption once it recovers.
Investigators said felony animal abuse charges are pending against that neighbor, who has denied attacking the dog.