The 16-year-old told deputies that he was 'disciplining' the dog for defecating on the floor.
Deputies have charged a 16-year-old with animal cruelty after he circulated a video of himself beating a small dog with a belt.
The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office had received a call in reference to an animal problem on June 1.
The caller stated that her nephew had just shown her a video that was posted on Snapchat by one of his friends depicting animal abuse.
In the video, a juvenile male is shown holding down a small dog by the neck and repeatedly striking the dog with a leather belt before throwing the dog into a crate and blocking the door.
Concerned residents also sent Sheriff Rick Staly Facebook messages of this abuse and the Snapchat video.
The FCSO made contact with the 16-year-old suspect at his home, where they discovered that he had been trusted to care for not one, but two dogs.
When questioned by deputies, the suspect stated that he was “disciplining” the dog for defecating on the floor inside the home instead of outside.
When asked why he had filmed the abuse, he stated that was probably “not smart to do.”
Palm Coast Animal Control responded to the scene and seized both dogs for safekeeping. Both animals were immediately transported to Flagler Animal Hospital to be assessed.
“This is another great example of ‘see something, say something’ in action,” 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.”
The juvenile was arrested and charged with animal cruelty. He was turned over to the Department of Juvenile Justice.