Neighbors speak out after video of apparent animal abuse goes viral

Updated: 08/13/2014 7:40 AM
Created: 08/12/2014 6:05 PM WHEC.com

 Authorities are investigating an apparent case of animal abuse in Livingston County after a disturbing video was posted on social media. We want to warn you the footage is graphic.

The Livingston County Sheriff’s Office says the video shows a boy repeatedly pulling his dog over a swing set by its leash. Deputies say they have located the eight-year-old boy and the dog. They say the boy is a special needs student.

Some neighbors say they were shocked by the video. Others say they’ve tried to report it, and they are glad it’s being investigated.

“That isn’t right. I’ve got a little dog myself,” said Gary LeBar, a neighbor.

No one answered the door at the home where investigators say the boy lived.

Another neighbor, who wanted to stay anonymous, says she knows the man who recorded the video. Police say it is from a few weeks ago.

“So everyone was blowing up online about why he didn’t stop it, but we tried to turn it in before that had even happened, so he had to do the video proof,” said the neighbor.

This woman says, unfortunately, this is something she has seen happen multiple times.

“I’ve seen him yanking down on the leash. I have seen him pulling on the least over the swing set in the past, and I banged on the kitchen window, and he dropped the leash. I think he understands that what he’s doing is wrong, but he does have mental disabilities, not that it excuses it,” she said.

The neighbor said a few months ago she told the boy’s mother what she saw him doing in the backyard.

“She was in tears that her son would do that, and she was upset that her son was outside by himself with the animal. She said that she was going to get him some counseling,” she said.

Police have not charged anyone in connection with the video. The sheriff’s office says they are working with the Dansville Police Department on the investigation. Dansville police would not comment on camera.

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