Neighbors record animal abuse on cell phone, dog owner arrested

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by Shern-min Chow / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on July 10, 2013 at 12:06 AM

Updated Thursday, Jan 9 at 7:55 PM

HOUSTON -- Two women who spotted their neighbor beating his dogs, grabbed a cell phone to record the scene and notified police.

When police arrived at 28-year-old Jesse Johnson’s door in north Houston, he reportedly knew exactly why officers were there. He said it was because he had ‘spanked’ the animals.

It was the crying next door that first caught Kristina Hernandez and Amanda Assali's attention Monday evening, so they peeked outside.

“He was beating them, looking under the washer and dryer and pulling them out,” Assali said.

So Assali poked a cell phone through the blinds and started recording.

“So he wouldn’t see me because it really freaked me out,” Assali said.

As the two roommates watched, their neighbor did it again.

“The man just ran after them, went and grabbed them, threw them to the ground, beat them, and beat them, and then threw them to the side,” Hernandez said.

Hernandez and Assali have their own rescue dog -- a pit bull. They moved in a month ago and suspected something was wrong next door.

Daniel, Johnson’s roommate, said they were training the dogs to stay out from under the house because of a flea infestation.

“As far as beating them I have no clue about that. Training them yes, but beating no,” Daniel said.

However, when 11 News showed him the cell phone video, Daniel called the behavior “a little too excessive.”

Authorities rescued the mother dog and her 10 pups. All the animals are now at BARC, Houston's animal shelter, and are being medically evaluated.

“We’re hoping people will adopt these puppies because they're adorable and they really need a home that wants them,” Hernandez said.

BARC said they aren’t available for adoption right now.

Johnson faces a felony charge of cruelty to animals. His bail is set at $2,000.

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