Boarding facility employee arrested for animal cruelty

- Brevard County Sheriff's Office has arrested 18-year-old Joseph Tyler Pendergrass of Rockledge for Cruelty to Animals charges.

The investigation started on January 23rd, 2017 after the Brevard County Sheriff's Office responded to a local boarding facility, where management reported the suspected animal cruelty that ocurred the day before.

The incident involved a small Shih Tzu dog, who was in severe pain after a significant leg injury. The dog was immediately taken to a local veterinarian clinic. The clinic evaluated the dog's condition and determined that it had a broken leg. 

The boarding facility's owner was extremely alarmed that the dog had been injured while in the facility's care and immediately initiated an internal investigation to determine what occurred. As a result, the owner and management team reviewed video surveillance footage that showed the dog being abused by Pendergrass,who used to work at the facility. The owner then immediately contacted law enforcement.

A Brevard County Sheriff's Office Animal Cruelty investigator came in to assess the situation, which culminated yesterday when a county judge issued a warrant for the arrest of Pendergrass for cruelty to animals.

Sheriff Ivey commended the management team for doing a phenomenal job immediately alerting law enforcement once realizing that an animal in their care had been abused.

Ivey also stated "I wanted to be clear in stating and reassuring our community that the owner, manager, and other staff members of the local boarding facility did absolutely nothing wrong and in fact are heroes in my eyes for not only investigating what had happened to this innocent pet, but also reporting the crime and working closely with our Animal Cruelty Unit to make sure that the offender is never around helpless animals again." 

The incident was captured on video surveillance footage and depicts the extremely graphic and violent act of Pendergrass abusing the animal.

Pendergrass surrendered to our agents in Orange County and was transported to the Orange County Jail, pending extradition to Brevard County. 

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