PALM COAST, FL – June 9, 2020 - According to an online news report written by the Associated Press and published June 2, 2020, on CBSLocal.com, a teenage boy was arrested and charged with aggravated animal cruelty charges. The news report states that the Florida teenager was seen on two animal abuse videos posted on the popular Snapchat social media application. The two videos captured the teen disciplining (abusing) his dogs by whipping the dogs with a leather belt. The teenager's friend posted the two animal abuse videos on Snapchat, and this caused law enforcement to file criminal charges on the teenager and place him under arrest, according to officials with the Flagler County Sheriff's Office.
The Flagler County Sheriff's Office received a tip about the animal abuse videos posted on Snapchat. One of the videos was about 14-seconds long and showed the teenaged boy striking the dog twice, and the dog attempted to run away, and the dog yelped in pain. The report states that the dog bit the teenager. According to the sheriff's office, the other video, which lasted 19-seconds, captured the teenager beating the dog, the dog whimpering in pain, and the teenager and his friend laughed. The video showed the small dog being held down to the floor by his neck, and the teen struck the dog three additional times, the arrest report alleges.
Flagler County Sheriff's deputies were able to trace the video back to the suspect's 15-year-old friend. According to the report, the suspect's friend admitted that it was not a smart idea to post the video on the Snapchat app. Also, the report alleges that the suspect admitted to law enforcement investigators that he typically uses a belt in order to discipline his family's dogs.
The Palm Coast Animal Control took both of the teen's dogs to Flagler Animal Hospital to be assessed, the newspaper reported.
According to a Daytona Beach News-Journal news report, the 16-year-old suspect was charged and arrested Monday in Palm Coast, Florida. The teenager is charged with aggravated animal cruelty charges. The Flagler County Sheriff's Office arrest reports that the teenager explained to investigators that one of the dogs in the video, a Pomeranian-type of dog breed, is one of the animals that he cares for. The Flagler County Sheriff's Office arrest report alleges the teen stated to investigators that the dog used the bathroom on his bedroom floor the day prior to his arrest. The teen then allegedly told law enforcement that he became angry when he stepped on the dog's feces.
The news report states that the Palm Coast Animal Control confiscated the teenager's dogs, and the dogs were taken to Flagler Animal Hospital for a medical assessment. Several news organizations covered this alleged animal cruelty story—however, none of the news stories reported on actions or statements provided by the suspect's parents. The news agencies did not state whether the dogs would be returned to the suspect's home or if the dogs will be permanently removed from the suspect's home.