Perry County man may not face charges after nearly beating a dog to death

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PERRYVILLE, MO - Fox 2 has confirmed a gruesome dog beating in Perry County:  a dog nearly beaten to death with a hammer.

It’s unlikely the man who beat the dog will face criminal charges, Perry County Sheriff, Gary Schaaf, told Fox 2.

It's been an amazing recovery for Benny, the Chocolate Lab, since the beating on May 24th.

The man who beat him late last month thought Benny was dead, Schaaf said, but there was not enough evidence to charge him with a crime.

The sheriff’s department called in Steve Svehla of the Rough Roads Animal Rescue in Perryville after responding to a call in rural Perry County of Benny’s owner beating him unconscious.

“He [Benny’s owner] just told me he said he got fed up, the dog had chased a car.  He had to get the dog.  He flipped out, took the dog out to the woods, this is his statement:  chained the dog to a tree, stood on the chain, and thought he was going to kill him, thought he had killed him, but he knocked him out, so he walked away,” Svehla said.

Svehla has records of statements from Benny’s owner, a relative, and neighbors.  He’s also documented Benny’s wounds and vet care.

Benny’s owner admits beating Benny with a hammer, Schaaf said, but he also told investigators it was self-defense after the dog attacked him.

There’s no evidence to refute that claim, Schaaf said, no witnesses saw the alleged attack or the actual beating.

“The dog wasn’t on him and he grabbed the nearest thing and started beating him off,” Svehla said.  “He put the dog on a chain.  If the dog’s that vicious, how’d he get him hooked up?  Took him out to the woods, stood on the chain and beat him with a hammer.  Come on…my concern is the county just passes on this on all the time…right now, it’s just free reign.  If you don’t like that animal, do whatever you want.”

Benny’s owner did surrender Benny and Benny's brother, another chocolate lab named Bowser, to Rough Roads.  Neither dogs is vicious and will be available for adoption soon, Svehla said.

Unless there was new evidence in the case, there will likely be no charges, Schaaf said.