A 27-year-old man pleaded guilty Tuesday to the fatal stabbing of an Edmonton police dog last year.  

Paul Joseph Vukmanich admitted to killing Quanto, a five-year-old German shepherd, during a foot chase that began after a crash involving a stolen vehicle near 111th Avenue and 109th Street early on Oct. 7.

The dog was stabbed repeatedly with a knife after approaching the suspect.

Handler Const. Matt Williamson, of Edmonton police, took Quanto to the emergency veterinarian clinic but the dog was pronounced dead soon after.

Vukmanich pleaded guilty Tuesday to a number of charges, including flight from police, possession of stolen property under $5,000, possession of a dangerous weapon and animal cruelty.

Crown prosecutor Christian Lim said Quanto's death was traumatic and upsetting for Williamson, whose family saw the dog as a pet.

“This officer watched his dog bleed in his hands and as he carried it to the car and eventually to the veterinary clinic, he saw the dog literally die in his arms," Lim said outside court. 

The judge will decide on Friday whether to accept a joint sentencing submission from the Crown and defence lawyers of 18 months in prison for the killing of the dog and eight months for the remaining charges. 

Both are also asking for $40,000 in restitution to Edmonton police, mostly for the costs of retraining another police dog, a five-year driving prohibition, a lifetime weapon prohibition and a ban on owning a pet. 

However, the judge expressed some dissatisfaction with the sentence, saying it gives short shrift to Vukmanich's history of fleeing police while armed.

With files from Canadian Press