Two teenagers have been charged with second-degree cruelty to animals and a torture of a dog or cat offense following an investigation into a social media video of a doing being abused that was widely shared this week. The dog was found dead Wednesday.
The Laurel County Sheriff's Office detained two individuals after the social media video began circulating on Facebook. The Snapchat video shows an individual punching a dog in its face.
The dog was a stray that Quinn Sizemore of East Bernstadt had been feeding over the last three days. Sizemore is a dog lover, with three of her own.
“When he wandered into the yard, he was so skinny,” she said in an interview with The Sentinel-Echo Wednesday evening. The dog did not always stay on her 30-acre property, but he would come by for food, water and shelter which she provided in her out-building.
“He was friendly and he was not aggressive or anything like that, he was fine with my dogs and everything,” Sizemore said. She hoped to find his owners or keep caring for him if she could not locate his owners.
“This incident has taken me by such surprise,” she said of the abuse and death of the dog.
Sizemore said she saw the video circulating on Facebook Wednesday morning.
Sizemore said she did not know the young men responsible for the video when she saw it or how they happened to cross paths with the dog, but she recognized the dog.
Sizemore went out immediately to start looking for the dog and found him located a little away from her house, but still on her 30-acre property.
“He was in the weeds and I noticed he had been badly, badly stabbed and beaten,” she said. Sizemore put him in her car and was on her way to take him to a veterinarian when the dog passed away.
“I’m glad I at least tried to save him,” she said. “I’m glad he wasn’t alone and that I was there to at least try to save him.”
Sizemore made a Facebook post about the incident and the passing of the dog. Shortly after, law enforcement contacted her letting her know they knew who posted the video and they had been detained.
Sizemore was able to meet with the young men.
“I hurt for them and their families as well because I think they’re young boys,” she said.
A 17-year-old male from Laurel County and Toby Glen Harrison, 18, of Chapel Road, East Bernstadt, were both charged with second-degree cruelty to animals, torture of a dog or cat – first offense. Harrison is also facing two counts of third-degree unlawful transaction with a minor.
The video showing the abuse of the dog by a male was posted on social media Wednesday morning. Following the posting, numerous individuals called the Laurel County Sheriff's Office reporting the abuse.
Detectives with the Laurel County Sheriff's Office immediately began an investigation locating individuals who may have been involved in the abuse and death, a press release for the Sheriff’s Office said. Social media posts and individuals who called named a possible suspect.
Sheriff John Root stated that he greatly appreciates the public's assistance on this investigation.
“Thank you for everyone who brought awareness to the situation," Sizemore said. “For the families and the boys, I am praying for them because I know it’s hard on the families too. I hope they get the treatment that they need so that nothing like this happens again."
The 17-year-old male is being transported to the juvenile detention facility at Breathitt County. Harrison has been lodged in the Laurel County Correctional Center. The investigation is continuing.