Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Pennsylvania: Video appears to show woman punching dog

PENNSYLVANIA -- SPCA officers showed up to the home in Plains Township to take away the German Shepherd at the center of this alleged animal abuse case.

“We have seen the video and it is an open, active investigation at the moment, so we really can’t release that much information,” Humane Society Police Officer Savi Reardon said.

Officials wouldn’t say what kind of injuries the dog had after the alleged beating. Neighbors said they always thought the pet was well taken care of, even though it wasn’t overly friendly.

“Always barking, always jumping up, like I said I thought he was going to jump off the porch and I would just hope that I would get in my car quick enough,” a neighbor named Sally said.

Animal control officers said the video of the alleged abuse is being used as evidence and it could make their case stronger if and when charges are made. However, that does not make a conviction any easier.

Reardon said, “We have to do a full investigation, get all of our evidence before we can even consider filing charges.”

The SPCA of Luzerne County investigates about 800 initial complaints for animal abuse every year, and that is not even counting all of the follow up calls officials have to make. Officers said it can be incredibly difficult to charge an alleged animal abuser because the victims in these cases can not speak up for themselves.

“Regardless of how horrific it is, it’s not: I get there. It’s bad. They go to jail. We have to go through the court system,” Reardon said.

At the end of the day, neighbors said they were horrified to hear about the alleged abuse happening just down their street.

Sally said, “To me, if you would abuse an animal, you would harm a human being. I have a cat, and she’s spoiled rotten.”

The SPCA of Luzerne County said this is still an open investigation.

(WWLP - April 19, 2017)