A rescued piglet turned over to the SPCA in Virginia for safe haven wound up dead after a former worker and her beau decided the animal would be better served as dinner, cops said.
Virginia natives Aymarie Sutter and her fiancé Lee Oakes Jr. are now facing felony charges of theft, animal cruelty and killing livestock after they were accused of stabbing the small pig 31 times and sending it to a butcher to serve at a Fourth of July dinner party.
According to WCAV, officers found Profit the pig after he had accidently run loose off his owner's property on July 3 and turned him over to the Charlottesville-Albemarle SPCA. Less than 24 hours later, Profit was dead.
According to a veterinarian who testified after performing a necropsy on the pig, Profit was stabbed 31 times in the neck and head before he died.
"It should have been given the same chance as every other animal to be given a home," North Carolina pig shelter owner Debbi Torres told InsideEdition.com.
Torres is one of the many activists who arrived to the Charlottesville courthouse Friday to witness the case against Sutter and Oakes proceed to the Albemarle County Circuit Court.
"We love pigs like these like they're our children," Torres said. "We'd really like to change the protocol for the pigs to go to a sanctuary to find a home instead of the SPCA handling it."
Sutter, who was a former employee at the Charlottesville-Albemarle SPCA, insisted she and her fiancé Oakes did nothing wrong in an interview with WCAV last month.
Sutter recalled that when officers arrived with the pig, "They asked me if I knew anyone who wanted the pig, so I called my fiancé."
She said Oakes was preparing an elaborate Fourth of July dinner, and looked forward to smoking the whole hog, then turn the rest into bacon.
"I didn't want to kill it, but the way you have to is by cutting their throat," Oakes told WCAV.
They said the police were aware they planned on killing the pig and gave them permission to continue, but the Albemarle County Police Department declined to comment, citing the ongoing investigation.
The Charlottesville-Albemarle SPCA reportedly claimed the pig was stolen soon after he was turned in.
"When I was done, I got down on my knees and I prayed for it because I knew that pig suffered, and I didn't want the pig to suffer," Oates said.
Sutter said last month she was looking forward to returning to the SPCA once the case blows over:
She said: "I loved my job at the SPCA. I have always wanted to work with animals, and I hope these charges can be dropped so I can get back to work."
Attorney Bonnie Lepold and the SPCA did not immediately return calls by InsideEdition.com for comment