Kylie Nikkels is accused of beating her grandmother's teacup Chihuahua so severely it had to be euthanized. Image: CTV Vancouver Island / BCSPCA

A Vancouver Island woman has been criminally charged after allegedly beating a seven-year-old teacup Chihuahua so severely it had to be euthanized, according to the BC SPCA.

Kylie Nikkels of Courtenay faces two counts of animal cruelty under the Criminal Code and makes her first court appearance on Oct. 20.

The charges come after an investigation by the BC SPCA.

BC SPCA senior animal protection officer Tina Heary said the female Chihuahua named Bianca belonged to Nikkels’ grandmother and sustained the injuries on April 9, 2016, when left alone in the home with Nikkels.

The dog was later taken to a veterinary clinic suffering from severe hemorrhaging and a crushed skull and chest and was euthanized.

“It is so heart-breaking to think of the pain this little dog would have suffered,” says Heary. “We are pleased that the investigation has led to formal charges being laid.”