Teens arrested for beating opossum with baseball bat as they held it over a dog

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In Summerville, South Carolina, four teens have been arrested in connection with the beating of an opossum with a baseball bat as its torturers held the terrified animal by its tail over a dog. The egregious deed had been recorded on video and then shared on Snapchat. 

According to the Journal Scene of Summerville,  David Lucas, spokesperson for the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, said two adults and two juveniles have been charged with misdemeanor ill treatment of an animal. Those charged are Bethany Polutta, 18, and Austin Kizer, 19. The other two suspects involved are minors and have not been named.

An investigation began in September after screenshots of the animal abuse circulated online. Agency officials received still shots from a Snapchat video allegedly showing the individuals beating the animal inside a garage. There was such outrage at the intentional cruelty, Renate Hartland, a wildlife volunteer in Seattle, started an online petition addressed to Dorchester County Solicitor David Pascoe demanding the suspects be charged with felony animal cruelty which would carry a harsher punishment of at least 180 days in jail for the abusers. The Change.org petition, which has since garnered nearly 35,000 signatures, is asking for the more serious punishment than the misdemeanor abuse charge which carries a maximum 90 days in jail/$1,000 fine.

“The animal suffered repeated, persistent, merciless pain. The pain and suffering inflicted upon the opossum goes far beyond anything tolerable in a decent society. This is not ‘generic’ animal suffering, this is specific torture and torment,” the petition reads.

Opossums are not dangerous animals as long as they are not cornered. The marsupials help to eliminate snakes, rodents, insects and carrion. They are efficient at getting rid of ticks responsible for Lyme Disease.

A Facebook page A Light For Hope was developed – the tortured opossum  named “Hope,” urges the solicitor to prosecute the case.

“The first signature is as important as the last and every signature in between! The Petition is printed and on it’s way to South Carolina…….4.5 lbs worth of overnight mail! Beth Sparks will be hand delivering it to the solicitors office on Tuesday……..Monday is a holiday. Here it is……every single voice calling for justice for Hope…..from all around the world!
Our team thanks every single one of you for your support. Stay with us, this fight is just beginning.”

Follow the National Pet Rescue on Facebook.

You can’t help but smile at these fuzzy calves!

Family’s rescued dog ballooned to dangerous weight – now she is getting life saving help.

13 replies
  1. Adrienne says:

    Whatever they did to this opossum should be done to them regardless if some are minors. Cruelty and abuse of animals starts at any age and when left with no punishment for what they did, what’s to stop them from doing even more? I am sure their parents are proud of them. This is the future of our country? God help us if it is. Why are more and more kids harming animals? Our politicians don’t even want to hear about stuff like this. More important to talk about collusion of 2016.

    • Sandy says:

      Manson and Bundy are mass murderers and started with abusing animals, then killing animals for fun. Got bored and started killing people!
      These morans need to be put in prison. Inmates will have a good time with them!

  2. BA says:

    THESE LOSERS need to be charged with a felony!!!! OMG 2 adults w/2little punks this poor innocent animal suffered and was tortured and SC doesn’t think these future serial killer killers deserves a felony!!!!! this was done on purpose and they enjoyed hurting and killing an innocent animal and took pictures OMG…..SC needs to get these 4 POS off the streets and in jail!!!! next will be more animals and then humans….they don’t post the punks names cause there under age, well there old enough to enjoy torturing an animal and posting it so they should be posted so everyone knows the scums they are

  3. vicki hood says:

    Fine and jail is little hope the courts will make a difference to these scum. Keep us posted. That possum was just a baby which makes the crime even worse.

  4. Tracy Whitcomb says:

    This is ABSOLUTE ABUSE!!!! This should not be treated as a misdemeanor!!! This needs to be treated as abuse and they need to be charged with this!!!!!

  5. Nancy Raymond says:

    I do not care if there are juveniles involved – ALL should be charged w/FELONY animal cruelty – these maggots need to learn a lesson and authorities who consider this a misdemeanor are either brain dead or don’t give a flying fuck about animal cruelty. These punks and hunks of horse manure adults should all be sitting in jail where they can become victims of those who prey on the weaker – let them get a mega dose of cruelty.

  6. sherry D. hadley says:

    A misdemeanor is NOT enough ; this should definitely be felony and these bad boys should be tried as adults. Such egregious cruelty is NOT a prank and will not go away, these individuals are capable of torturing animals and they are not normal. Will always be a danger to society due to their lack of empathy. They won’t grow out of this. LOCK EM UP; the longer the better.

  7. Audrianna says:

    Parents are disgusting, raising sickos like this. All should be in jail. Also WHAT ABOUT THIS OK IN OUR “GREAT AMERICA”!? Where is the outrage towards total lack of humanity?!

  8. pamela bolton says:

    Unless there is SERIOUS TIME put on these atrocities they will continue. This thing of not publishing their names because of their ages is BS If they have the balls to treat an animal like this then they should be willing to have the world know what they have done. Their parents should also be hit with jail time for allowing their spawn to think it is OK to do something like this.


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