After video surfaces, Caldwell man is charged with animal cruelty; dog taken away
Catherine Odom and Alex Brizee, Idaho Statesman
BOISE (Idaho Statesman) — A doorbell camera video posted on the social networking site Nextdoor showed a man repeatedly hitting a dog on Saturday, prompting hundreds of comments and reactions.
The incident took place between 1020 and 1030 N 7th Avenue in Caldwell, according to the post. The user said he heard the “commotion of a dog in distress” on his front porch, but by the time he looked outside, a man was already walking away, the Idaho Statesman reports.
He said he later saw what happened on the footage from his Ring doorbell camera, posted the video to Nextdoor and called Caldwell Animal Control. When officers arrived, they were not able to find the suspect, according to a Tuesday news release from the city of Caldwell.
On Monday, a man in his 20s turned himself in to Canyon County officials as the person in the video. Caldwell Animal Control officers responded to his residence, according to the release, which did not name the man, citing the “highly publicized and emotional nature of this incident.”
Animal control’s investigation identified the man and dog as those captured in the video, and officers found that the animal showed “no obvious signs of injury or other indication of suffering.”
On Wednesday, a news release said officers had taken possession of the dog, but did not arrest the owner.
At a press conference on Wednesday afternoon, officials said the man had been charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty and was issued citations for failing to have a current dog license and rabies vaccine.
The dog was seized and taken to West Valley Humane Society. The unidentified man told authorities that his dog had escaped his fence and he was late for work, which was why he got frustrated, Caldwell Lt. Doug Winfield told reporters.
Misdemeanor animal cruelty is punishable by up to six months in jail, and it was the man’s first offense, officials said.
“The community is outraged as well as members of this police department, the mayor, the city council,” Caldwell Police Chief Rex Ingram said. “We’re not going to tolerate animal cruelty.”
Ingram also asked the community to “refrain from going after” the man. Ingram said the department wasn’t aware of any specific threats against the dog owner, but he was referring to comments on NextDoor and other social media platforms.
Ingram mentioned that the community appears to be planning a protest Thursday outside Caldwell City Hall. He noted that the community has the right to protest, but said “justice will be served” in this case.