GENESEE COUNTY, Mich. (WLNS) — A rarely used charge is being employed against a Genesee County man for beating a 1-year-old German Shepherd puppy named Pluto.
Eric Robert Savela, 36, is being charged with one count of animal abuse and one county of Using an Animal in a Domestic Violence incident.
The domestic violence charge carries a prison term of up to 10 years.
Video evidence shows Savela repeatedly hitting something off-camera with a belt. As he’s making the whipping motion, you can hear the sound of a dog squealing.
Deputies say that Savela beat up Pluto to pressure a family member to do what he wanted.
According to the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, additional details surrounding the case are “shocking.”
Officials confirmed that Pluto is safe and that the dog was “in the wrong place at the wrong time.”