PALM COAST, Fla. – A Palm Coast teen was arrested on an animal cruelty charge Monday after he repeatedly beat his dog with a belt and posted videos of the incident on social media, according to the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies responded to a home along Bunker Lane Sunday after a the mother of a concerned teen contacted law enforcement saying her child saw a video posted to Snapchat by a friend showing a 16-year-old whipping a small dog with a belt.
According to a report, the videos posted to social media showed someone holding the Pomeranian-type dog down by the neck then repeatedly and “aggressively” beating the dog with a belt.
When deputies arrived at the home, they made contact with the teen featured in the video, who later told deputies he beat his dog out of anger because it went to the bathroom on his carpeted floor, a report said.
Investigators said the teen told deputies he knew why they were at his house and said his mother was also aware of the videos. When deputies asked why he had filmed the abuse he stated that it was probably “not smart to do,” records show.
Deputies said they had to explain to the teen and his mother why the actions were wrong and that through the course of the investigation, another dog was found to be living in the home.
The teen was arrested on an animal cruelty charge and was taken to the Flagler County Jail and eventually turned over to the Department of Juvenile Justice.
The two dogs living in the home were taken by Palm Coast Animal Control for safekeeping and were immediately transported to Flagler Animal Hospital to be assessed.
“This is another great example of ‘see something, say something’ in action,” Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly said. “We do not tolerate animal abuse in Flagler County. This type of behavior could be an early warning sign that something else is going on with this young man and often is how human abuse starts. I hope this is a wakeup call that his criminal actions will not be allowed and that he gets the help he needs. I would also like to say thank you to the young man who spoke up and saved this dog from further abuse.”