Stranger stabs dog to death while owner plays pickleball at the park
Credits: Liesbeth Mackie (left) | Asheville Police (right)

A North Carolina man approached a family dog, reportedly grabbing its throat and stabbing it many times to death while the owner was playing pickleball at Weaver Park in Ashville.

James Wesley Henry, 43, suddenly launched a bloody knife attack on an innocent 11-year-old dog, Beignet, in broad daylight.

The guy killed the dog with a knife, basically eviscerating it,” Asheville Police Captain Michael Lamb told the Asheville Watchdog in an interview.

The Mackie family, who owns the mixed-breed pup, is devastated and left in shock after the horrifying encounter at the park.

Beignet’s owner Liesbeth Mackie and other players recall noticing a man acting bizarre and yelling.

They didn’t pay much attention as the man wasn't actually bothering anyone around, and his shouting didn't have a target.

Mackie’s pickleball partner, Eric Hulin, noticed the man attacking the dog minutes later.

All of a sudden, I noticed that there was some commotion happening with her dog.”

I saw the attacker, definitely with all of his strength — with what I thought at the time was a closed fist — slamming on the dog, really.”

The man turns out to be holding a knife in his fist, repeatedly stabbing Beignet, as Hulin described to be something he “can’t get the image out” of his head.

Dog stabbed to death by a stranger while playing at the park
Credits: Liesbeth Mackie

I turned and looked at the dog and saw its last couple of yelps and twitches.”

It was covered in blood. There was blood everywhere. It took me a moment because I wasn’t sure what happened,” Hulin recalls.

A few parkgoers tried to catch the suspect, but the man quickly walked away, dropping the knife along the path.

The police were quick to respond and arrested the suspect.

Henry has been charged with felony and animal cruelty and is being held in the Buncombe County Detention Facility on a $10,000 bond.


Compassion for pets is fuel to Lenin's lifelong mission. As a fur mom to a Havanese dog and 6 stray cats, Lenin sees the joy in rescuing and giving pets a chance at a forever home. Even in her career as a freelancer, Lenin focused on writing everything about pets — from breed profiles to nutrition down to some of their interesting facts.