Court date pushed back for man charged with animal abuse

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) – The court date of a Newport News man accused of abusing his dogs has been moved back. 10 On Your Side was in the courtroom Tuesday when the judge made the decision.

The video of Ahmed Elsafty allegedly hitting his dog quickly circulated on the internet — catching the attention of animal cruelty investigator Misty Collins. She and other animal advocates were in the court room and were disappointed the judge continued the case, saying it’s bad for the dogs’ health.

Collins said, “German Shepherds in general don’t do well, they don’t thrive when they are in a shelter environment.”

The city defender argued that it’s been more than 10 days since the dogs were taken, and that it is time to decide if Elsafty is allowed to keep the dogs. But Judge Matthew Hoffman decided that because Elsafty’s attorney was not present, he would give him one more week. Four witnesses were called into court on Tuesday, including neighbors and Elsafty’s former dog trainer.

Collins stopped Elsafty outside of the courtroom, but was only able to speak with him briefly. She said, “I asked the owner, Mr. Elsafty, if he’d be willing to surrender the dogs so they’re not in limbo any longer. He opted not to. He wants the dogs back.”

When asked what his response was, she said, “He paid a lot of money for them. Which in my opinion, isn’t a good enough reason.”

Collins went to Elsafty’s home when animal control was initially called and says what she saw inside was upsetting.

“The dogs were still banished to a cage in the backyard in substandard conditions. They were pretty frantic at the time then, I can’t imagine what their demeanor is now,” Collins said.

Elsafty has been reported to animal control six times. Five of those happened this year alone. He denies the abuse and did not want to speak with WAVY News Tuesday.