A northeast Missouri man accused of fatally stabbing his dog last month has pleaded not guilty to felony animal abuse.

KTVO-TV reports 29-year-old Jeffrey Lynn Vance, of Kirksville, entered the plea Tuesday in Adair County Circuit Court. He's due back in court Oct. 21 for a trial date setting.

A good Samaritan found Vance's pit bull, Mama Vance, staggering along a Kirksville street the night of Sept. 11. The dog later died at an animal hospital.

An officer followed a six-block trail of blood to a home where he found Vance. Police say Vance told the officer he stabbed the dog after she bit him.

Investigators said Vance told them the pit bull had been given to him as a service dog to assist him with seizures.

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