WATSEKA, Ill. (AP) _ The mayor of the small town of Milford was fined $50 and placed on probation for a year Tuesday for beating a puppy to death with a shovel.

James Cook, who pleaded guilty last month to animal cruelty, said the beagle had been making a nuisance of itself and endangering employees at the grain elevator where he works as a manager.

He said he was only trying to shoo the dog away, but when he saw how badly he had injured the 6-month-old animal, he decided to put it out of its misery.

After getting hate mail and death threats, Cook said he would resign as mayor. But he changed his mind after an outpouring of support.

Cook paid the family who owned the dog $150 as compensation.