A Southern California man accused of fatally striking his roommate's Chihuahua has pleaded not guilty to felony animal cruelty.

The Los Angeles County district attorney's office says 35-year-old Mark Rivera Rodriguez entered the plea Thursday.

Prosecutors allege the West Covina man threatened to kill the dog and then on March 7 jumped down from a tree in their backyard and landed on the dog's head.

The owner took the dog to a veterinarian who pronounced it dead.

If convicted, Rodriguez faces up to three years in jail.