Local 3 News has received video of a violent case of animal cruelty out of Bradley County.

Two teenagers have been arrested and charged after posting a video of one of them repeatedly hitting a stray dog with a stick until it died.

"I, personally, cannot handle watching the video," said Jarita Moore, founder and director of Who Saved Whom, a non-profit organization with a mission to decrease the number of dogs that are euthanized.

The two unidentified teenagers are facing charges of aggravated animal cruelty and intentional killing of an animal. 

"We really want people to focus more on the actual animal involved in it," said Moore. "For the sake of the animal."

It happened on Carter Road in the southern part of Bradley County.

"We haven't seen that many times when perpetrators of animal abuse or neglect have actually had charges pressed on them for those issues," said Moore. 

Moore wants the 16-year-olds to be tried as adults for the crime. If they were, they could be charged with a felony. That would mean they could face up to six years in prison and be required to register with the state as an animal abuser, if they were convicted.

"There's a correlation between cruelty to animals and violence to other people," said Stephen Hatchett, a criminal defense attorney in McMinn County, Tennessee. "So, obviously, that's something that's concerning."

Hatchett doesn't believe the teenagers will face criminal charges. Instead, he believes, a judge would likely order them to psychological evaluations.

"There's only a very small number of crimes where you can treat a juvenile as an adult," said Hatchett. "This is not one of them."

The Bradley County Sheriff's Office worked with the S.P.C.A. of Bradley County to cremate the animal.

The two teenagers are due in court on May 12.

"This is an example to take this as an opportunity to send a message that this won't be tolerated in Bradley County," said Moore.

Stay with the Local 3 News app for updates to this story.

Reporter

Liam joined the Local 3 News team as a reporter in July of 2021. Before coming to the Tennessee Valley, Liam spent five years living around North Carolina. Most recently, he worked in Jacksonville, North Carolina as a reporter for NBC Affiliate WITN News.

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