A Sarasota man was arrested and charged with Aggravated Animal Cruelty on Saturday after witnesses say he came home and began kicking his 6-month-old puppy.
Sarasota Police Officers responded to 1100 block of 32nd Street around 7:45 a.m. Saturday morning. When Officers arrived, a large group was gathered in front of the location yelling at Toddrick Leverett, 36.
Witnesses said Leverett came home and began kicking the puppy in the front yard. Witnesses also told Officers they saw Leverett grab the back of the puppy’s neck and drag it through the dirt. Witnesses said the puppy was chained to a tree and was desperately trying to get away.
The black and white female pit bull appeared to be very frightened but was friendly towards officers.
The puppy sustained a broken left rear leg from the incident. Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office Animal Services arrived and took custody of the puppy. According to Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office Animal Services, the puppy is currently at an emergency vet clinic.
When Officers spoke with Leverett, he said the dog, who weighs only 25-pounds, tried to attack him and he defended himself by kicking the animal. Leverett had small bleeding on his fingers and right elbow but none of the marks were consistent with dog bites, police say. Officers also stated that they could smell a heavy odor of alcohol coming from Leverett’s breath and observed slurred speech.
Leverett was arrested and charged with Aggravated Animal Cruelty on scene.