Man reportedly abuses dog, charged with animal cruelty

Tifton man arrested for animal cruelty

TIFTON, GA (WALB) - Doris Ball said she didn’t know something was wrong with her 15-year-old dog Butterfly when she picked her up from a routine grooming appointment at Branch’s Veterinary clinic in Tifton. She later found out that an employee at the clinic had reportedly punched Butterfly in the nose, causing the dog’s nose to bleed.

“[We’ve been] very nervous, very upset, just a lot of emotions, lot of traumatizing. She was very much traumatized," Ball said.

Tifton police report shows that 45 year old Michael Lockett was arrested & charged with animal cruelty. Report shows...

Posted by Deneisha Pearson WALB on Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Ball said she noticed Butterfly’s nose was bleeding when she picked her up from the vet.

The bleeding stopped once she got home, but then she noticed that Butterfly couldn’t walk right on her right paw. That’s when she says she noticed that the dog’s nails on the right paw had been cut down to the nail bed and there was more bleeding.

The alleged crime happened Nov. 6 but Ball said she reported it Nov. 27.

Michael Lockett, 45, was arrested by the Tifton Police Department (TPD) and charged with a count of cruelty to animals on Nov. 28, according to a TPD report.

“I’m not trying to be ugly, I’m not trying to be hard to get along with, but I just don’t think anything like that should happen to anybody’s pet” Ball said.

Ball said the experience has been traumatic for Butterfly. She says her pet has always been cautious with strangers but even more so now since the reported attack.

Doctors at Branch’s Veterinary Clinic released a statement saying in part “Branch’s Veterinary Clinic has been rattled and saddened by the incident and the person responsible was promptly fired.”

But Ball said the damage has been done.

‪Family members that own this dog "Butterfly" say their pet was abused by an employee at a Tifton vet clinic. Police report shows that Butterfly was punched in the nose and the dog suffered from bleeding from the nose & feet. ‬ ‪Video Source: Leah Childers

Posted by Deneisha Pearson WALB on Tuesday, December 4, 2018

“I’ve had her 14 years and I trusted them with her for 12 years and then this is what I find out happens, so no, she will not be going back,” said Ball.

Butterfly’s owner said the dog’s right paw had to be cauterized and it was very painful.

The family said there is a video of the alleged incident but police said they can’t release it since it’s an open case.

Authorities with the Tift County Jail said Lockett was released on bond the same day he was charged.

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