An Ohio man accused of breaking a 7-week-old puppy's leg with a metal pipe has pleaded not guilty to a charge of cruelty to animals.

The Springfield News-Sun reports ( ) that 24-year-old Malik Shaw pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor charge of cruelty to animals on Thursday in Clark County Municipal Court.

Police say officers were dispatched to Shaw's home in Springfield on Nov. 18 following reports of a fight.

Officers were told after arriving that the fight started over Shaw's pit bull puppy.

Police say the children of Shaw's girlfriend allegedly had taken the puppy without his permission because they believed he had been hurting it.

Court records show police saw the puppy in the home and said it was unable to stand on one of its rear legs.