Thursday, May 24, 2018
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West Toledo man accused of beating dog facing animal cruelty charges

Case shared widely on social media

A West Toledo man is facing animal cruelty charges after surveillance video and a photo of someone abusing a dog circulated on social media.

The Toledo Area Humane Society on Monday filed two misdemeanor animal cruelty charges against Kashif Watkins, 34, of the 3000 block of Auburn Avenue, in Toledo Municipal Court. He was issued a summons to appear for arraignment May 21.

Court records show Mr. Watkins is accused of “cruelly beating the dog and carrying it by the back of its neck” after the dog ran into the street May 3 on Auburn Avenue near Central Avenue. Distant surveillance video used as evidence captured some of the incident, while a witness’ photo circulated on Facebook appears to show Mr. Watkins carrying the large dog by the skin on the back of its neck and shoulders.

The case has riled area animal advocates, who have inundated the humane society with phone calls and messages. A group of about 20 people protested Friday near Mr. Watkins’ residence, calling for justice and seeking the safe surrender of the dog.

The humane society has not been able to locate the dog. Stephen Heaven, president and chief executive, said the organization is continuing to look into matters even after the charges against Watkins were filed.

“We would, therefore, like to hear from anyone who actually witnessed the accused beating [of] this dog prior to the May [3rd] incident, especially if the dog’s owner, Crystal Jones, was present during any of those alleged beatings,” he said.

The humane society’s cruelty division can be reached at 419-891-9777, and tips can also be submitted online at toledohumane.org/stop-animal/cruelty/

Contact Alexandra Mester at: amester@theblade.com419-724-6066, or on Twitter @AlexMesterBlade.

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