Police in Florida have arrested a man whom they say stole six puppies from his stepfather, put them in pillow cases and attempted to force them into a storm drain. Ernest Martin, 39, was arrested and charged with six counts of animal abandonment, according to WJXT. He is being held on a $90,000 bond.
The incident took place in September 2016 and was captured on surveillance video. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said the puppies, which belonged to Martin’s stepfather, were discovered when a passerby noticed the pillow cases in the storm drain. All six of them survived. One of them now lives with Martin’s stepfather while the others were given to various family members.
The arrest came after an unidentified resident showed police a surveillance video that depicted Martin throwing the puppies over a fence and then stuffing them into the storm drain.
“It just breaks my heart to see someone hurting animals like that,” the resident told WJXT. “[Martin] throws them real high into the air and over the fence and they’re hitting the ground. He came back outside with some pillow cases, grabbed the puppies up one by one, came out here to the drain and started shoving them into the drain.”
The witness added that when Martin found that he couldn’t fit all the puppies into the drain, he moved on to another one.
“When they started moving around, he was kicking them, trying to shove them back into the drain,” the witness said. Martin’s mother, who did not want to be identified, said her son suffers from schizophrenia and took the puppies for demons. “When he saw the dogs, he thought they were little demons,” she said. “He goes through little spasms, but he put them in there. He put them in the ditch.”
Days after Martin’s arrest, two people were arrested in North Carolina after video footage emerged online showing them tying a dog to a tree and shooting it several times with a rifle while laughing and making jokes.
The dog belonged to 23-year-old Marinna Rollins, a former soldier. According to a police report, Rollins and her boyfriend, 26-year-old Jerren Heng, took the dog to a wooded area and filmed themselves shooting it in the head. The dog was then dragged across the ground and buried in a shallow grave, WTVD reports.
“It’s been real,” Rollins reportedly says in the video. “I love you, you’re my puppy, you’re a good puppy, but …”
As Rollins pushes the animal into a shallow grave, a man’s voice can be heard saying: “Kind of put him a little deeper in there.”
Rollins and Heng were both being held on a $25,000 bond.