An Orangeburg man is in the crosshairs of an animal cruelty investigation and a flurry of social media attention for a video that police say shows him abusing his dog.
A video reportedly depicting the incident surfaced online over the weekend and shows a man repeatedly striking a dog with a long object.
Orangeburg deputies arrested 45-year-old Harry Leviner, Jr. October 13 and charged him with ill treatment of animals.
In an incident report, Leviner told deputies that his German Shepherd’s chain was caught in the bumper of the van and he hit the dog ‘with a plastic baseball bat’ hoping to set it free.
After he was arrested, Leviner stated “it’s only a dog” before he was transported to jail.
Orangeburg County Animal Control now has custody of the dog from the video and Leviner’s two other German Shepherds. However, Leviner could get the dogs back if he is found innocent.
“We’ve known this was going on for a little while but we had to have evidence,” says Kayla Ford with Orangeburg Animal Control. Ford says seven-year-old Sasha has mostly healed from the beating, but is fighting heart worms and other infections. “She loves people and she’s great on a leash,” said Ford, “it’s crazy that a human can treat a dog like that and they’re just so nice and they act like it never even happened.”
A trial for Leviner is pending and he has since been released from jail.