Prosecutors: Woman fatally beat family dog with shovel and claw hammer, then bragged about it

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Authorities say a New Jersey woman used a shovel and claw hammer to fatally beat her family's dog and then bragged about it.

Mercer County prosecutors say 19-year-old Hightstown resident Michelle Wankoff faces several counts, including animal cruelty and tampering with evidence.

The charges stem from an investigation that began when Hightstown police got a tip that Wankoff had bragged about killing and burying the 9-year-old mixed breed dog.

Authorities say Wankoff initially tried to poison the dog with various medications late last month. When that failed, they say, she repeatedly hit the dog on the head with a shovel and claw hammer until it died.

A telephone number for Wankoff couldn't be found Monday. It isn't clear if she has an attorney who could comment on the charges.