A 37-year-old Tenants Harbor man told police he noticed his dog was injured when he came home from a party, but police say he shot the dog and that it suffered for days before being taken to a veterinarian.

Eric T. Lugar was arrested over the weekend and is held without bail at Knox County Jail after a motion to revoke pre-conviction bail was granted. Lugar has a separate pending case in Knox County Superior Court, according to the court.

Lugar was arraigned Monday, April 29 on two charges of animal cruelty, one charge of unlawful possession of Suboxone and violating a condition of release.

Lugar's girlfriend, Holly J. Thibodeau, 41, of Waldoboro, faces the same charges — one count of animal cruelty and another for unlawful possession of Suboxone. Thibodeau told police during a search of their home she did not know how the dog got hurt and admitted neither she or Lugar had a prescription for Suboxone, state court documents.

Thibodeau was released on bail April 28.

Sgt. John Palmer of the Knox County Sheriff's Office responded to an animal welfare complaint earlier this month after a concerned citizen said Lugar shot his own dog in the head at his residence when it defecated in the house.

The caller described the dog as a young mutt and said Lugar had bragged about shooting it.

When Palmer and Deputy Paul Pinkham, along with the town's animal control officer Michael Mathiau, went to Lugar's home on Wallston Road, they saw the dog had injuries to the top of its head above the left eye, and blood oozing from its muzzle. The exit wound, according to the police report, was in the lower jaw.

Lugar told police he did not shoot the dog. Initially, he said the dog was hit by a car two weeks prior, and later said he went to a party and when he returned home, found the dog with the injuries.

Lugar did not consent to a search of his home without a warrant and told police he did not own any guns. Lugar is a convicted felon and not allowed to own firearms, according to court documents.

Police later performed a search and found Suboxone strips in the house and .22-caliber bullets. No gun was found, according to court documents.

The dog, called Scooter, was taken by Mathiau to a veterinary clinic in South Thomaston for treatment. The veterinarian, who stayed after hours to examine the dog, said Scooter was "absolutely" suffering.

After further examination and X-rays, the vet determined Scooter was shot in the head, and found numerous bullet fragments in the canine's skull.

Although Lugar alleged he did not shoot his pet, he still did not take it to be treated even after he noticed the injuries, said the police narrative.

Lugar is expected back in court Thursday, May 30.

Courier Publications reporter Juliette Laaka can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 118 or via email at jlaaka@courierpublicationsllc.com.