Falcons waive Shembo following animal cruelty charge

The Atlanta Falcons waived linebacker Prince Shembo on Friday following news of an aggravated animal cruelty charge, the team announced.

According to the Gwinnett County (Georgia) Police Department, Shembo's former girlfriend, Denicia Williams, called the police on April 19 to report that Shembo killed her Yorkshire terrier, Dior.

Williams left Shembo alone with the dog on April 15, according to police, only to return and find the dog unresponsive. Per a statement released by the police, Williams said Shembo "made comments to her that he had kicked her dog. At this point, she ended their relationship."

A necropsy performed on the dog determined the cause of death was blunt force trauma. The report said the dog suffered a "fractured rib, fractured liver, abdominal hemorrhage, thoracic hemorrhage, extensive bruising/hemorrhage in muscles in front leg and shoulders, head trauma, hemorrhage and edema in lungs, hemorrhage between the esophagus and trachea, and hemorrhage in the left eye with internal injuries."

The findings were completed May 28.

A warrant for Shembo's arrest was obtained Friday, per a police statement.

"We are aware of the charges that have been filed against Prince Shembo," the Falcons said in a statement. "We are extremely disappointed that one of our players is involved in something like this. Accordingly, we have decided to waive Prince Shembo."

The former Notre Dame player was selected in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft and appeared in all 16 games for the Falcons this past season.

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