LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — Two teens from Laurel County have been arrested following an investigation into a video showing a dog being abused that was widely shared on social media Wednesday. The dog, which was found with multiple stab wounds later in the day by an East Bernstadt woman, died.
Toby Glen Harrison, 18, of East Bernstadt has been charged with second-degree cruelty to animals, torture of a dog or cat — first offense, and two counts of third-degree unlawful transaction with a minor.
A 17-year-old male from Laurel County also has been charged with second-degree cruelty to animals and a torture of a dog or cat offense. Law enforcement will not release his name because he is a juvenile.
The Snapchat video shows a male punching a dog in its face. The Laurel County Sheriff’s Office detained two people after the social media video began circulating on Facebook.
Harrison was allegedly at a residence with two minors who were intoxicated. According to a Laurel County Sheriff’s Office press release issued Thursday afternoon, Harrison allegedly had stated he was going to kill the dog.
The dog was a stray that Quinn Sizemore of East Bernstadt had been feeding over the previous three days. Sizemore is a dog lover, with three of her own.
“When he wandered into the yard, he was so skinny,” she said in an interview with The Sentinel-Echo on Wednesday evening. The dog did not always stay on her 30-acre property, but he would come by for food, water and shelter, which she provided in an out-building.
“He was friendly and he was not aggressive or anything like that, he was fine with my dogs and everything,” Sizemore said. She hoped to find his owners or, if unable, keep caring for him.
“This incident has taken me by such surprise,” she said of the abuse and death of the dog.
Sizemore said she saw the video circulating on Facebook, and recognized the dog. While she didn’t know the young men responsible for the video, or how they happened to cross paths with the dog, she went out immediately to start looking for the dog. She found him a little away from her house, but still on her 30-acre property.
“He was in the weeds and I noticed he had been badly, badly stabbed and beaten,” she said. Sizemore put the dog in her car and was on her way to take him to a veterinarian when he died.
“I’m glad I at least tried to save him,” she said. “I’m glad he wasn’t alone and that I was there to at least try to save him.”
Sizemore made a Facebook post about the incident and the passing of the dog. Shortly after, law enforcement contacted her, letting her know those believed responsible for the video had been detained.
Sizemore was able to meet with the young men.
“I hurt for them and their families, as well, because I think they’re young boys,” she said.
Following the posting of the video, numerous people called the Laurel County Sheriff’s Office to report the abuse. Social media posts and people who called named a possible suspect. Detectives with the Laurel County Sheriff’s Office immediately began an investigation, locating individuals who may have been involved in the abuse and death, a press release for the Sheriff’s Office stated.
The 17-year-old male charged in the case is being held in the juvenile detention facility at Breathitt County. Harrison is being held in the Laurel County Correctional Center. He is due in court at 9:30 a.m. Friday.
The dog’s body was transported to UK Medical Center for an examination into the cause of death. The Sheriff’s Office investigators noted the dog had numerous stab wounds.
“We are continuing the investigation at this time and more information will be released when it comes available,” the release stated.
“Thank you for everyone who brought awareness to the situation, Sizemore said. “For the families and the boys, I am praying for them because I know it’s hard on the families, too. I hope they get the treatment that they need, so that nothing like this happens again.”