A Benton County, Tennessee, man was arrested Monday after he broke into a stranger's home and set a dog on fire as he believed it to be “evil.”

According to an arrest affidavit released Wednesday, 29-year-old Cody Shay Townsend broke into the apartment Sunday evening.

Benton County Sheriff Kenny Christopher said, “This dog was there, it’s a black lab, and she has puppies, and the dog started barking at him, I guess trying to protect her puppies.” 

Townsend hit the dog with a baseball bat before striking it in the head with a hammer. He then dragged the dog to a fire pit at a neighbor’s yard, took a fuel can and doused the canine before setting her on fire, Jackson Sun reported.

The affidavit stated that before breaking into the house, the accused got into a car and refused to get out of it after which the vehicle’s owner called police. Responding officers felt Townsend was hallucinating. They also believe the man was under the influence of a “controlled substance.” 

The accused told a responding officer that he wanted to kill the canine as he believed “dogs were evil” and that he was on a “mission from God to kill all things evil.”

Townsend was taken into custody and charged with animal cruelty, burglary and criminal trespassing. He was held at Benton County Jail on a $25,000 bond.

Meanwhile, the dog, which sustained bruising to her head and eye along with second-degree burns, was receiving treatment at a clinic.

Veterinarian Elizabeth Paschall said, "She's recovering well from the head injuries and the injury to her eye. What she's suffering from the most are her burns."

Describing the dog as “extremely sweet” and “calm,” Paschall said, “She’s never shown any aggression, she’s actually trusted us tremendously,” adding, “They don’t necessarily react negatively to the mistreatment that humans give them, they have that unconditional love,” Fox 17 reported.

The dog, which is expected to make a full recovery, may have to undergo a surgery to remove the burned skin.