A suburban St. Louis man has been sentenced to eight years in prison for breaking into his ex-girlfriend's home and attacking her small dog so badly that it had to be euthanized.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that 37-year-old Charles A. Zidek of Ellisville was sentenced Monday. He was found guilty in July of felony animal abuse and burglary.

Prosecutors say Zidek entered the St. Charles home by breaking a basement window about 2 a.m. on Oct. 9, 2011. He repeatedly threw the woman's 8-pound Italian greyhound, Vinny, against a bedroom wall. His former girlfriend was not home at the time. She found the dog the next morning.

Zidek's attorney told the judge that Zidek had problems with alcohol and steroid use.