man bites dog
A man in Florida bit and severely injured his mother's dog (Representational image) Diane Macdonald / Contributor/ Getty

A man in the US has been convicted of biting his mother's tiny Shih Tzu dog on the face and choking it until its eye popped out of its socket. David Etzel, 37, from Florida, could face a year's jail or more for causing injuries to the dog, Cujo, in April.

Etzel's mother, Michele Etzel said that her son's anger and drinking led him to bite and severely injure her dog. "I'm happy he was held accountable for what he did to my dog," Etzel's mother was quoted as saying by the Palm Beach Post. "My son needs alcohol treatment, and he needs anger management treatment," she added.

Before the verdict was announced, assistant public defender, Jason Daron Gray had argued that the dog bit Etzel first. Assistant state attorneys Judith Arco and Laura Burkhart Laurie told the Palm Beach County jury that if that were true there should have been evidence of the dog's bite on his skin. The jury, however, rejected Etzel's claim of innocence.

Veterinarians who treated the dog said its injuries were similar to that caused in a car accident or an attack by other dogs. While they were able to place the dog's eye back into its socket, the dog was left permanently blind in the eye. The tiny canine, which is still owned by Etzel's mother, was also injured when Etzel grabbed it by its neck.

Considering Etzel's history of violence, Arco said she would be seeking a sentence of more than a year for him. The sentencing is expected on Friday (6 November).