A ‘shocking’ video of a Ray Township vet attacking one of his own pet dogs prompted Macomb County Animal Control to remove three dogs from the home and investigate the man for criminal charges.
Animal control officers learned of a video of the incident recorded by the man’s son and posted on youtube.com on Tuesday evening and Wednesday afternoon removed the dogs and interviewed residents, officials said Wednesday. county at a press conference outside the county animal shelter.
The incident also prompted law enforcement officials to investigate potential abuse of the three children who reside in the home.
The man can be seen in the 2:34 minute video chasing the dog around the house and choking him for up to 30 seconds before lifting the German Shepherd by the neck and throwing him to the ground. He shouts obscenities at the dog as he chokes him. A boy who appears to be 10 or younger watches nearby as other family members are also present.
“It was shocking,” County Executive Mark Hackel said of his reaction to the first viewing of the video, adding that the dog clearly reacted in fear to the attack.
“You can sense the fear in this German Shepherd by seeing this video and listening to the reaction,” Hackel said. “The way this guy acted towards this dog and what he did and his incredibly aggressive nature, it changed the behavior of this dog to him cowering, he crying. It was almost like a call to help him as he choked him, then straight in his face and slammed that dog to the ground. He even hit his head on the kitchen floor. You can tell. The dog is screaming and crying. It can really take your breath away.
Before and after the attack, the man is seen stalking the dog, telling him to “come here”.
Police have not released the man’s identity as the case is still being investigated for possible animal abuse charges.
The dog’s health was checked Wednesday afternoon at the shelter, animal control manager Jeff Randazzo said.
A fight between that dog and another dog in the house prompted the attack on the man, Randazzo said. The second dog received three stitches in his ear, he said.
The video, posted on youtube.com, was taken down this morning as officers approached the home.
It includes the man’s wife and other family members and is accompanied by a commentary from the son, who, in apparent sarcasm, posts comments along with the video: “a short action comedy starring a dysfunctional family and a psychopathic teenager. starting (sic) two DVMs as the two main stars wow! no special effects. it will surely be the blockbuster of the year.
He also does audio commentary during the video, “Those are some really good s—” he says.
Investigators are also looking into the welfare of the children due to the man’s aggression and apparent acceptance of his behavior at home.
Hackel, the former county sheriff, called the scene “worrying.”
“It raises eyebrows,” he said.
Randazzo said animal and human abuse can “go hand in hand” and those accused of animal abuse are often investigated for other abuses.
Charges of animal abuse or cruelty range from a misdemeanor to a felony with a maximum sentence of 10 years.
The incident could impact the suspects’ veterinary license, Hackel added.
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