At least four witnesses claim they saw a Williamsport man beat his Pit Bull breed dog, the Lycoming County SPCA reported.
Arthur N. Thompson, 78, of Catherine Street, allegedly "kicked and beat [his dog] with a closed fist several times in the head," Humane Officer Shawn McMonigle said in charges filed June 10.
The dog is an 85-pound female brown and white Pit Bull named Cali, court records show. Cali has since been taken into the custody of the humane officer.
McMonigle said the reported abuse occurred on and prior to June 7.
Between June 1 and June 8, four of Thompson's neighbors told McMonigle they witnessed Thompson physically abuse Cali, court records show.
One neighbor said he witnessed the alleged abuse on "several occasions" and another said it happened "many times," according to the affidavit.
At least one neighbor and Thompson's landlord expressed concern that the dog had become "very aggressive," ran loose and bit several people, McMonigle said.
On June 5, Williamsport City Police Records Clerk Janet Doherty provided McMonigle with four police reports regarding Cali.
According to the affidavit, when McMonigle questioned Thompson's wife, she said her husband had dementia. She reportedly said that she never witnessed any abuse and threatened to sue.
On June 9, McMonigle received the fourth signed statement by a witness to the alleged animal cruelty.
On that same date, McMonigle secured and executed a search warrant for the Thompson's home in the 1500 block of Catherine Street.
The humane officer went to the Thompson home and took the dog Cali into his care, court records show.
The next day, Thompson's wife reportedly called McMonigle to ask when they'd be getting their dog back.
"McMonigle explained the situation is up to the fact finder/judge to resolve," the affidavit states.
"Humane Officer McMonigle believes the female brown/white Pit Bull named Cali has been placed at imminent risk of serious bodily injury and is charging Arthur Thompson," the affidavit states.
Thompson was charged with one count of second degree misdemeanor cruelty to animal and one count of summary cruelty to animal.
He's scheduled for a preliminary hearing before Lycoming County Magisterial District Judge Aaron S. Biichle on Aug. 20.