LEESBURG, Fla. - An Oklahoma man is facing charges after his dog drowned at a Florida lake while wearing a weighted belt.
Dennys Luque says despite the charges against him, he loved his dog, Darnight.
"I was shocked people don't sleep with the dog. I live with the dog almost 24/7," he said.
Officials tell WESH that the 1-year-old German Shepherd drowned on Sunday after she jumped into the water from the boat dock in Leesburg.
Investigators say Darnight was wearing a 13 pound weighted belt when she was forced to jump into the water.
However, Luque tells WESH that Darnight was wearing the belt to make her a better swimmer and to get her tired so she sleeps during the day.
He says she weighed 61 pounds and had jumped in the water and swam seven times with the same belt on in one day.
When she started sinking, Luque says he jumped in after her but couldn't reach her.
He was ultimately arrested on a complaint of animal cruelty.