A man with a criminal history in Thunder Bay has pleaded guilty in Edmonton to animal cruelty for stabbing a police dog to death.

The incident happened last October, when Paul Vukmanich was chased by police after crashing a car with stolen plates.

Vukmanich pleaded guilty to a total of six charges. He told the court he was high on drugs at the time.

The case was “very traumatic and tragic,” according to prosecutor Christian Lim.

“This officer watched his dog bleed in his hands and then carried it to the car and eventually to the veterinarian clinic," Lim said. "He saw the dog literally die in his arms.”

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

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

In 2010, Vukmanich was sentenced to three years for robbing a Thunder Bay taxi driver.

When he was arrested in Edmonton last fall police said he was wanted on Canada-wide warrants for armed robbery in Winnipeg and Thunder Bay.