CALDWELL, Idaho — The Caldwell Police Department held a press conference to discuss details surrounding a recent dog abuse investigation and new charges for the former department lieutenant, Joseph Hoadley, Wednesday evening.
The animal abuse investigation started after a viral video circulated on social media showing a man punching his dog. The Caldwell Police Department (CPD) responded and later repossessed the dog.
"This expectedly gained a lot of viral attention on social media," Caldwell Police Chief, Rex Ingram said. "The community is outraged, as well as members of this police department. We're not going to tolerate animal cruelty."
On August 6, at approximately 5:30 p.m., Canyon County Dispatch received a report of a possible animal cruelty case in Caldwell. The caller claimed they heard a dog yelping outside and saw a man hitting his dog in front of the home, and said the incident had been recorded on his doorbell camera.
Officers responded to the area near North 7th Avenue, but were unable to locate the suspect or the person who had reported the incident; however, a report was generated.
The video, taken from a "Ring" doorbell camera, was posted on August 6 and widely circulated on social media sites. On August 8, the video was forwarded to Caldwell Police.
That same day around 11:30 a.m., a Caldwell resident in his 20's called Canyon County Dispatch and reported he was the man in the video. Caldwell Police Animal Personnel followed up with the man at his residence.
The man was interviewed both on the phone and in person, and said the reason he was frustrated with the dog that day was because the dog had gotten out of his yard and he was running late for work.
An Animal Control Officer, with 16 years of experience, examined the dog and found no clear signs of injury or indications of suffering. The examiner said the dog was unafraid of the owner and seemed to be in good health, so it was left with its owner.
The dog's owner cooperated with investigators and no criminal charges were issued, but the officer gave the owner a citation for not having his dog up-to-date on its rabies vaccination or having a dog license.
A meeting was later held between the prosecutor's office and police where it was decided the owner would receive an additional citation for animal cruelty, a misdemeanor, and have his dog repossessed.
"As a dog owner myself, there's ways to train or discipline a dog, however, what the actions of this suspect did in this case, are not acceptable," Chief Ingram said at the press conference. "Idaho law prohibits that kind of conduct."
An investigation into the incident is still ongoing, in conjunction with the Canyon County Prosecutor Attorney's office.
"We are doing everything we can to investigate this manner and take it seriously," Chief Ingram said.
Names and personal information are being withheld from the public release due to the "highly publicized and emotional nature of this incident," according to a press release from the City of Caldwell.
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