ROCKWELL, N.C. (WBTV) – Scottie Lee Lewis, 28, a man with an extensive criminal record, has now been cited for animal cruelty after pictures posted to social media showed him walking a dog that appeared to be pulling a brick.
Rockwell Police issued a state citation for animal cruelty on Monday night. Lewis has other, unrelated charges pending.
The pictures that were posted to social media show the man police identified as Lewis walking a puppy through the parking lot of a convenience store in Rockwell last week. The puppy appears to be pulling a brick that is dragging on the ground.
The images were shared thousands of times. Police, along with Rowan Animal Services, began an investigation.
Police say Lewis told them he was “strength training” the dog so that he “would look muscular.”
“It could definitely cause permanent injury to their limbs if they are attached to a heavy object like that,” said Dr. Rebekah Julian, DVM, from Lazy 5 Vets Animal Hospital. “We need to approach this in a compassionate manner, be very firm as far as animal cruelty, but also we need to get information out to people on how to properly care, how to properly train animals so that they can protect us, be strong, but in a very humane way.”
When he was cited, investigators said, Lewis claimed the dog was stolen from him. Officials say it isn’t clear who now has the dog.
According to prison records, Lewis has a past record that includes assault inflicting serious bodily injury, breaking and entering, common law robbery, speeding to elude arrest, possession of stolen goods, and numerous vehicle break-ins.
Lewis has pending 2019 charges for possession of stolen goods and robbery with a dangerous weapon. He also has two pending 2018 charges for misdemeanor probation violation and driving while license revoked.
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