Investigators were forced to dig up the body of a dog drowned by its owner, a court has heard.
Alan Petrie killed the Golden Retriever, named Jack, in a bathtub at his home in Leven.
He previously pled guilty at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court to causing the dog unnecessary suffering.
On Thursday, the court heard Petrie believed the dog was in poor health and had phoned a vet around a week before killing it.
However, the 47-year-old decided against humane euthanasia due to the cost and rules preventing him being present during the procedure.
Petrie admitted killing the dog at his home between November 8 and 17 last year by submerging it in water.
He further admitted sending an obscene message to his ex-partner Karen Howarth – an image of Jack drowned in a bath – on November 9.
In the picture, blood can be seen coming from the dogs muzzle area.
Petrie and Ms Howarth split up months before the killing, after five years together.
A string of messages between them, seen by The Courier, detailed his actions.
One, from Petrie, read: “I’ve just. Committed. Murder. I’ve just killed”.
A court insider said the case is one of the most horrific they had ever seen.
Killed dog after drinking
Solicitor Dewar Spence, defending, said: “He had spoken to a vet about a week before.
“The dog was in poor health.
“The vet gave advice on the cost and he could not be present when it was euthanised.
“It’s described in the report as ‘callous’ and if you look at it in the clear light of day it appears that way.”
He said Jack suffered seizures and was “11 or 12 years old”.
He added: “This is an animal he’s had from a young age.
“They had a close bond and the dog went everywhere with him.
“He still believes he was doing this as something compassionate to the dog in these particular circumstances.
“The final decision was taken after he had been drinking.”
‘A grotesque thing to have done’
Sheriff James Williamson revealed a post mortem carried out on the dog’s body showed in addition to aspirating water, the golden retriever had suffered a blunt force trauma.
He said: “After the dog’s death it had to be exhumed for a post mortem.
“The post mortem said that it drowned but it makes reference to a blunt force trauma to the head.
“The only person who can speak to the health of the dog is him.
“It’s a grotesque thing to have done.
“You hear people say something is unbelievable; well his is unbelievable.”
He warned Petrie a custodial sentence could not be ruled out.
He said: “I need to decide if this was callous or misguided.
“It might make the difference between a jail sentence or otherwise.”
He also told Petrie he should make arrangements for the care of his current dog as he faces a “lengthy” ban on keeping animals.
He further deferred sentence on Petrie, of White Avenue, Leven, for more information on Jack’s health and when it last saw a vet.