A suburban Philadelphia man who last year shot his dog to death then burned the animal on a barbecue grill after “having a rough day” was sentenced to prison Wednesday, the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office said.
Nikolay Lukyanchikov of Northampton Township in southeastern Pennsylvania was sentenced to two to four years in state prison, the DA’s office said. Lukyanchikov, 50, entered an open guilty plea to counts of receiving stolen property, aggravated cruelty to animals, possessing an instrument of crime, cruelty to animals, and recklessly endangering another person.
Common Pleas Judge Raymond F. McHugh, who issued the sentence, also ordered that Lukyanchikov can never own, possess, or care for any animals of any kind ever again.
What’s the background?
Lukyanchikov adopted the greyhound he named Preacher in October 2019 after the dog was rescued earlier that year from a Macau, China, racetrack that animal rights activists called “the worst hellhole for racing greyhounds in the world.”
But just after 7 a.m. on April 30, 2021, Northampton Township police answered a call about a fire pit and couch on fire in a front yard. Officers found a “highly intoxicated” Lukyanchikov — the property owner — sitting on a bench near the fire and throwing fake $100 bills into the flames, which he was squirting with lighter fluid.
Officers also spotted a 9-mm handgun on the bench, which turned out to be a gun that fired blanks.
Once the fire was extinguished, police found an unknown animal badly burned and charred on top of a small metal charcoal grill. The animal was later determined to be Lukyanchikov’s dog, Preacher. A necropsy determined that Preacher was shot at least once.
A roommate told police she heard several shots coming from Lukyanchikov’s bedroom, and when she went to the bedroom to investigate, she found that he had shot his dog. The roommate added that she barricaded herself in her room out of fear.
Police saw blood on the stairwell wall leading up to the second floor and more blood on the floor and throughout Lukyanchikov’s second-floor bedroom. Police also found several shell casings on the floor, along with several other firearms in plain view in the bedroom.
Officers also found bullet holes in the floor of the bedroom and exit holes in the ceiling of the first-floor living room. After serving a search warrant, police seized a 9-mm Barretta handgun with an extended magazine and five hollow-point rounds.
Deputy District Attorney Robert D. James during Wednesday’s hearing said due to a 2011 involuntary commitment, Lukyanchikov was not allowed to possess a gun.
But Lukyanchikov tried to buy a gun in 2019 from a Bucks County gun store, which declined the sale. He also wrote to the state to have his gun possession rights restored and even asked his roommate to buy him a gun. She refused.
Lukyanchikov eventually stole a 9-mm Barretta from a friend’s widow a week before he used it to kill his dog, James said.
James also told the judge that during an interview, Lukyanchikov said he shot his dog to relieve the animal’s misery — but also because Lukyanchikov was “having a rough day.”
Lukyanchikov has been at the Bucks County Jail — unable to post bail — since he was arrested on the day of the fire, PennLive reported.