NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — A Newport News dog owner is facing animal cruelty charges after a video surfaced allegedly showing him abusing two dogs.
The video in question has been widely circulated on social media since Sunday.
Kim Lee with the City of Newport News told 10 On Your Side Monday morning that animal control officers were investigating the video. She says they were notified late Sunday night that the video had been posted online.
The owner, Ahmed Elsafty, has been charged with two misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty. Lee says both of the dogs are German Shepherds.
Elsafty spoke to 10 On Your Side outside his home today. He denies hitting the dog. He says he made a loud clapping sound, as a form of discipline after his dog jumped on his friend’s child.
“I never beat the dog, you know. I was just disciplining the dog like, ‘Stop, don’t do that,’ you know,” Elsafty said.
Lee says there have been six previous calls to animal control on Elsafty, including five since July.
A judge will determine what ultimately happens to the dogs. In the meantime, they will remain at the the Peninsula Regional Animal Shelter at least until Elsafty’s court date, which is scheduled for Nov. 15.
Elsafty believes at that point, he will get his dogs back.
“My dog is healthy. He has his license. I don’t have anything to worry about.”
WAVY’s Deanna LeBlanc spoke to the dog’s former trainer, who says she witnessed Elsafty hitting the dogs multiple times. She says she called animal control and intends to testify as a witness at Elsafty’s hearing.