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Man won't face charges for punching dog in Boynton Beach

Police say actions of dog's owner, although 'undesirable means of discipline,' didn't rise to level of criminal act
Dog Punched in Boynton Beach 9/27/20
Posted at 2:54 PM, Oct 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-02 14:55:08-04

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. — A man who was caught on camera punching a dog in a Boynton Beach park won't face charges.

The video, which was posted Sunday on Facebook, showed a man walking a dog on a leash before suddenly punching and slapping the animal at Intracoastal Park.

Boynton Beach police spokeswoman Stephanie Slater said Friday that, after submitting evidence of the case to the Palm Beach County state attorney's office, it was determined that "although the dog owner's actions were an undesirable means of discipline, they did not rise to the level of a criminal act" because the dog wasn't injured.

WEB EXTRA: Boynton Beach police investigate man caught on camera punching dog

"This man's actions were completely heartless and unwarranted and an ineffective means of discipline or behavior-modification," Boynton Beach police animal cruelty investigator Liz Roehrich said. "But it is my duty as an investigator to put personal emotions aside and determine if a violation of the law occurred, and in this case, it did not."

Slater said Roehrich visited the man's home for a welfare check on his other dogs and noted they were geriatric but did not show any signs of neglect or abuse, past or present. She said there was no probable cause to legally remove the other dogs from the home.

The owner permanently relinquished custody of the 2-year-old female pit bull-Labrador mix named Addison, who is now at her new home.