A Utah man has been charged with kicking a 2-month-old puppy to death while his young children were nearby.

According to Lehi Police, the 33-year-old man’s wife told them that when she returned home from the grocery store on Friday, she found the puppy “unconscious and barely breathing.” The woman told police her husband “told her he kicked the dog because it pooped on their floor … and must have kicked it too hard.” The cocker spaniel died before she could take it to a veterinarian.

According to a probable cause statement, the suspect’s 5-year-old son told police he was in the other room when he "heard the puppy start crying and screaming.” When the boy came to see what was happening, he saw his father “being mean to the puppy,” police wrote.

The man’s 1-year-old daughter also was home at the time.

The man has been charged in Fourth District Court with torture of a companion animal, a third-degree felony.