Yes, I believe that if someone takes the life of a dog, or any pet, they should be faced with serious charges. Killing of any kind should be taken very seriously, especially if what is being killed has emotion and love like dogs do. At the very least, animal cruelty charges should take effect, because killing another creature on purpose is inhumane and unjust. Dogs pour out so much emotion to owners and even to strangers, and they are not always capable of standing up for themselves, so that is where the law should come into play, protecting living things that could not protect themselves.
Killing an animal, such as a dog is not the same as killing a human being. Animals deserve respect, however, and killing and animal deserves some sort of charges. They should be charged with some form of severe animal cruelty that led to death. At the very least they should be charged with animal cruelty.
If someone takes the life of a dog they should not face murder charges. To do so is to put a physical and moral equivalents between animals and human beings. Quite frankly, that is absolutely absurd. For anyone to suggest that a murder charge is appropriate for the killing of an animal, that person should have their head examined.
Animal abuse should be treated as animal abuse. It should not be excusable, when there is evidence of cruel treatment of animals, but neither should they be treated as human beings. We eat animals, after all. It's not okay to eat humans. Animals, while lovable, were not made in the image of God as man is, thus they should not be weighed as heavily in court as a murder would be.