FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - A Flint man is facing charges for allegedly beating a young dog that ran away from his house.
Police say 38-year-old Lovell Farmer owned a 1-year-old female dog. He told investigators that he was trying to train it, but the dog ran away on Oct. 11.
A neighbor’s surveillance camera captured video of what happened when Farmer caught the dog. Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson played video showing Farmer hitting the dog repeatedly with a short broom and dragging her away by her hind leg.
Swanson said neighbors came forward to report the alleged abuse, which led to a police response. Genesee County Animal Control took custody of the dog named Sweet Pea while authorities arrested Farmer on charges of animal cruelty and abandoning an animal.
Swanson said Farmer was carrying 10 grams of pure cocaine when he was arrested, so he is facing an additional charge of delivering or manufacturing a narcotic. Farmer remained in custody Friday at the Genesee County Jail on $75,000 bond.
Swanson said the case shows his zero tolerance policy toward animal crimes.
“We want to send the message home, as we always do -- you are not going to get away with beating or abusing or taking advantage of vulnerable people or animals in this county,” he said.
Swanson pointed to national studies and documentaries that show animal abuse was a precursor to physical crimes against humans.
“When somebody is going to abuse, neglect, beat, kill, torture, starve an animal -- a companion animal -- they’re going to do it to a human,” he said. “It’s just a matter of time.”
Genesee County Animal Control Director Jay Parker said Sweet Pea is doing well in a foster home. The department is working toward offering the dog for adoption.
“She has probably only known a life of abuse and fear,” he said.
Animal Control staff are looking for more foster homes and volunteers. Call 810-732-1660 for more information about opportunities that are available and the process of signing up.
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