Man pleads not guilty to beating dog with hammer

Joe Waters has pleaded not guilty to the felony animal cruelty charges he faces for allegedly beating his dog in the head with a sledgehammer last year.

Waters, 48, must now wait to get on the DeKalb County Superior Court calendar for trial, expected sometime later this summer.

The dog recovered after a week in an emergency veterinary office. The 9-year-old Australian shepherd has been living with his rescuer, Robert Kennedy, since. Waters remains free on $25,000 bail as he waits to appear before Judge Cynthia Becker.