The man accused of killing 26 people and wounding 20 others at a Texas church on Sunday had at one point been charged with animal cruelty in Colorado Springs for beating and dragging his young dog.
According to the Denver Channel, Devin Patrick Kelley had been arrested for animal cruelty in Colorado in 2014. An El Paso County Sheriff’s Office affidavit states deputies arrested him at the Colorado Springs RV park where he lived. One neighbor told a deputy that Kelley chased the young Alaskan Husky until he caught up with the dog and then jumped on top of it – pinning the dog down to the ground. With a closed fist, Kelley beat the dog in the head and face several times. Another neighbor reported he had witnessed Kelley grab the dog, throw it into the air and then onto the ground as he dragged the defenseless animal back to his camper as the puppy whined and cried.
When officers arrived at the camper on August 1, 2014, Kelley initially refused to speak with authorities and denied abusing his dog. One deputy said the puppy appeared underweight. When Kelley finally agreed to talk about the dog, he stated he chased the dog because she would not obey his commands and continued to run away. He also stated the dog had been acting “aggressive to another dog,” but denied abusing the dog.
Officers arrested Kelley for misdemeanor animal cruelty and took the Husky to a veterinary center. Kelly was given a probationary sentenced and was ordered to pay $368 in retribution. There have been no reports if the dog was ever returned to him.
Abusers of animals are five times as likely to harm humans.
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