A Bradenton man was arrested Thursday morning after admitting to stabbing his pit bull to death, according to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.

Joshua Aaron Cox, 19, was charged with animal cruelty and possession of marijuana after deputies found the body of the 3-year-old dog at Cox’s residence at 4804 19th Street West shortly after 4 a.m. Thursday.

Deputies say Cox told them he chose to kill the dog rather than take it to the city pound, and did so by heating a kitchen knife and stabbing it several times in the neck and under the shoulder.

According to the MCSO, Cox said his parents brought the pit bull down from North Carolina and he ended up in possession of it because his brother and sister-in-law would have violated their lease by keeping it.

He was arrested without incident.