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New charges filed in animal cruelty video investigation involving teens

WXII 12 Greensboro-Winston-Salem logo WXII 12 Greensboro-Winston-Salem 3/3/2020

Yadkin County deputies have filed new charges in an animal cruelty video that surfaced online.

Click the video player above to see WXII 12 News coverage of the incident

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Deputies filed an additional charge of misdemeanor cruelty to animals on the 15-year-old juvenile who was identified earlier as the one who carried out the abuse. A 16-year-old juvenile was identified as the one who filmed the abuse, deputies said. The second suspect has been charged as a juvenile with juvenile justice with misdemeanor instigating and promoting cruelty to animals in accordance with the recent Raise the Age Law.

The initial report was filed on Feb. 20 after people informed law enforcement about the video.

“I’ve got calls from people who couldn’t sleep last night. They cried. It is, it’s a very disturbing to see anyone treating an animal like that, especially a teenager or juvenile,” Yadkin County Sheriff Ricky Oliver said.

Investigators determined that the abuse was filmed prior to mid-January but they don't know the exact date.

“There was a student that had reported something to our SRO’s (school resource officers) at Forbush High School. After he received that report about a video of animal abuse, he then talked with our Animal Control Division, and they began an investigation into the video itself,” Oliver said.

The video is too graphic to share, but it shows a person abusing a 9-month-old Australian cattle dog.

“Very disturbing things that were going on by picking the dog up by the hair and dangling it around and I understand swinging it by the ears and holding it down, slamming it into the floor,” Oliver said.

Oliver said within hours of being alerted by other students, the Forbush High School student was charged with felony animal cruelty and abuse.

The dog was seized from the suspect’s home and taken to a safe foster home after being cleared by a veterinarian.

“Remarkably enough, the vet gave it a good bill of health, and when we took the dog in, it was running around and wagging its tail and stuff like that, just like a normal, young puppy. It was a miracle, I guess. And we don’t know at this point in time if the video was taken in the last couple days or a month back. We’re looking into that,” Oliver said.

Oliver also said the Sheriff’s Office is investigating several other videos on the suspect’s social media accounts and additional charges for the teen will follow.

“We take it very seriously. Animal abuse, animal cruelty, there’s no room for that. We don’t tolerate that. I just don’t understand it, to be quite honest, how anybody that’s pet owners, that’s ever been around animals, they’re loving creatures, just full of love, and I just don’t know how anyone could. They have a serious problem when they do something like this to an animal, they really do. They need some help,” Oliver said.

The investigation is ongoing, and because the suspect is a juvenile, Juvenile Services could not comment on the suspect’s current situation. As for the dog, he will remain at the foster home until court proceedings where the judge will decide what happens moving forward.

READ THE FULL STORY:New charges filed in animal cruelty video investigation involving teens

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