DeKalb man charged with animal cruelty after he beat his dog while on drugs, police say

DeKALB - A DeKalb man is charged with aggravated animal cruelty after police say the man was reportedly "tripping on acid" and beat his dog, Poppers, so badly that its yelping "sounded like a massacre," court records show.

Austin J. Alhbach, 23, of the 900 block of Market Street, is charged with aggravated cruelty to animals. If convicted, he faces up to three years in jail and fines up to $100,000.

On July 17, DeKalb police responded to Alhbach's residence around 2:20 a.m. for a report of someone "tripping on acid," and that Alhbach struck his dog, Poppers. The caller, who was also in the home at the time, told police they were awoken by loud yelping coming from Poppers which sounded "like there was a massacre" happening, records show.

Poppers suffered a concussion, serious head trauma, a severe scleral hematoma to his right eye, a laceration on the eye and bruising to his right front arm and left leg. Police officers saw the dog's head was bloody, records show, and had a swollen right eye.

Alhbach was taken to Northwestern Medicine Kishwaukee Hospital for injuries he "sustained in a fight" but at first refused to tell police how he'd been injured, records show, which reportedly occurred after police left his home later that morning.

Alhbach later told police he was on drugs earlier that morning and that he'd struck and hurt Poppers, and the dog had been taken to Bethany Animal Hospital.