Flowery Branch, GA (SportsNetwork.com) - Atlanta Falcons linebacker Prince Shembo is being accused of killing his ex-girlfriend's dog and has been charged with aggravated cruelty to animals.
The Falcons responded swiftly to the situation, waiving Shembo after charges were filed.
"We are aware of the charges that have been filed against Prince Shembo," the team said in a statement. "We are extremely disappointed that one of our players is involved in something like this. Accordingly, we have decided to waive Prince Shembo."
According to a report from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Denicia Williams called police on April 19 saying that Shembo had killed her Yorkshire Terrier, named Dior.
Williams told police she had taken Dior to Shembo's home at a Mall of Georgia apartment complex four days earlier, according to police.
At some point during her stay, Williams left Shembo and her dog unattended. When she returned, Dion was unresponsive, she told police.
Williams took the dog to Duluth Animal Hospital, where Dior died shortly after her arrival.
The following day, Shembo allegedly made comments to Williams about killing the dog and she broke up with him, she told police.
A necropsy was conducted at Gwinnett County Animal Shelter and tissue samples were sent to the University of Georgia for further testing, according to police. The dog had significant internal injuries and the cause of death was blunt force trauma, veterinarians determined.
The dog had a fractured rib, fractured liver, abdominal hemorrhage, thoracic hemorrhage, extensive bruising and hemorrhage in the muscles in her front leg and shoulders, head trauma, hemorrhage and edema in lungs, hemorrhage between the esophagus and trachea and hemorrhage in the left eye with internal injuries.
Shembo was a fourth-round pick by Atlanta in the 2014 draft. He appeared in all 16 games as a rookie, making three starts.
During his time at Notre Dame, Shembo was accused of sexual assault by a student at St. Mary's College but was never charged.