A man caught on camera punching his dog in a Florida park has had the dog, and two of her puppies, removed from his care. Within days, the sweet dog found the perfect adoptive home.
The man, who has neither been charged nor named by the authorities, was filmed by bystander Stacey Rybak abusing his 2-year-old pit bull-Labrador mix, Addison, on Sept. 27, reported WPBF 25 News.
“To see a grown man punch a poor helpless dog, I was in shock,” Rybak told WPBF 25 News.
She called 911, and Boynton Beach police responded.
Later on, the owner told the ABC-affiliated television station over the phone that he lashed out after Addison ran away from home toward Intracoastal Park and failed to respond to his command to “come.” He caught her when she stopped to play with another dog.
“I regret it,” he said. “[I]t’s a life lesson and the dog is not injured, the dog loves me to death and I love her to death, so it’s a situation I have to deal with.
“There’s no question I was wrong for what I did,” he added, “but they didn’t understand the circumstances.”
Addison was taken into the custody of Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control, where veterinary staff shaved her to check for signs of bruising or protracted abuse. They found her to be healthy.
Investigator Liz Roehrich assisted on a welfare inspection of the owner’s home.
Based on Roehrich’s report to the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office, the man’s two other dogs, aged 11 and 13, “were geriatric and neither exhibited any signs or symptoms of prior or current neglect or abuse.”
Roehrich said that the owner expressed remorse.
“This man’s actions were completely heartless and unwarranted, and an ineffective means of discipline or behavior-modification,” Roehrich said in the report.
“But it is my duty as an investigator to put personal emotions aside and determine if a violation of the law occurred,” she explained, “and in this case, it did not.”
Friends of Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control took to Facebook, explaining that Addison’s owner gave up permanent custody nonetheless.
The pit bull-labrador mix got the happy ending she deserved when the perfect adoptive home came forward: her former fosterer. Best of all, he officially adopted both Addison and her puppies.
“It was a very exciting and emotional reunion for all involved,” the staff wrote. “Addison will now be living a wonderful life, surrounded by love.”
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