A Georgia man has been charged after allegedly stomping on his wife’s dog, which had to be euthanized after the attack due to the extent of its injuries.
Columbus resident Charles Van Pelt, 26, is accused of trapping his wife’s beloved dachshund, Penny, in its pen and stomping on it after driving her to work on January 5, 2022, the Ledger-Enquirer reported.
As a result of the attack, the dog suffered seizures, brain damage and serious head trauma. A veterinarian later euthanized Penny because the dog’s injuries were so severe.
Even though the attack took place in early January, Van Pelt was not arrested until Saturday after a neighbor obtained surveillance video of the incident and notified authorities.
The man has been charged with aggravated animal cruelty—a felony offense that comes with a minimum penalty of a year in jail under Georgia law.
At a hearing on Monday, a judge refused to set bond for the man and he remains in Muscogee County Jail. He has pleaded not guilty.
Recorder’s Court Judge Julius Hunter cited concerns for the welfare of people around Van Pelt in his decision not to grant bond.
“If something drove him to actually do this act to that dog, what’s keeping him from doing this to a human being?” Hunter said, according to the Ledger-Enquirer.
Jennifer Reese, a co-worker of the dog’s owner, Loren Van Pelt, said she was happy with the court’s decision not to set bond.
“I feel so much safer knowing that he’s not going to be out on the streets,” Reese told the Enquirer.
Reese told WTVM that Charles Van Pelt had voiced dislike of Penny because he believed that his wife loved the dog more than him.
“I never thought a human could be so cruel or do what he did to that poor dog,” Reese said.
Van Pelt dropped his wife Loren off at work “told her to have a good day, gave her a kiss, and then left,” she said. “That was at 12 o’clock. A few minutes after she got here, her neighbors called her on her cell phone telling her she needs to get home.”
In the surveillance video provided by a neighbor, the 26-year-old man can be seen calmly walking up to Penny’s kennel before cornering the dog and then proceeding to stomp on the animal repeatedly.
Around 15 minutes later, Loren Van Pelt and her co-workers can be seen rushing in to try to save the dog.
“He was standing over there watching Penny seize and he pointed to Penny and says ‘There’s your killer dog right there’,” Reese said. “I automatically went to grab Penny up and get it to the vet.”
“When I saw his face, he had no remorse,” Reese said. “He still has no remorse for what he did.”
Newsweek has contacted the Columbus Police Department for comment.