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A court hearing for a Sloan man charged in the death of a family dog has been delayed until next month.

Originally scheduled for today, the preliminary hearing for Michael Tortorici will be Jan. 22 in Cheektowaga Town Court. The postponement was requested by his attorney, Frank Lotempio III, according to the court office.

Tortorici, 58, was charged with a felony count of animal cruelty, among other things, following the Nov. 3 death of Max, the family’s 8-year-old German shepherd. He’s accused of punching, kicking and beating the 86-pound dog with a wooden bar stool and a piece of lumber, before shooting it in the abdomen.

Tortorici told police he shot the dog because it attacked him, and his attorney has said he will pursue justification as a defense.