BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – Police said sounds of animal abuse coming from inside a Boardman hotel led them to arrest a man inside.
When humane officers arrived, they reported finding a pit bull puppy in pretty bad shape.
Dante Mason was arrested early Monday morning on animal cruelty charges.
Police were called to the Red Roof Inn in Boardman around 5 a.m. after guests started complaining about a dog being hurt. According to a Boardman police report, when officers arrived, they heard loud thumping and a dog crying and yelping loudly.
“It sounded like the dog was being abused in some way, shape or form,” said Mary Louk, with Animal Charity of Ohio.
Officers said Mason initially refused to open the door for officers but eventually came to the door. He told officers that he was angry that his dog had peed on the bed and he was “teaching the dog a lesson” in the bathroom, according to the report.
Police then discovered a 4- or 5-month-old pit bull puppy with a badly-broken back leg. Police reported that the dog was lying in its own feces in the bathtub and appeared to be unable to stand and was having difficulty breathing.
“She couldn’t bear any weight on one of her legs. She was very, very timid. She was very, very scared,” Louk said.
Humane agents drove the animal to a veterinary hospital in Akron to see if there were any other problems.
“If she was being beaten, that it could be possible that she could have internal injuries that we are not aware of,” Louk said.
According to the report, Mason had warrants for his arrest and suspected drugs were found in the bathroom of the hotel where he was staying.
Louk admits the case brings with it a financial component, expecting the dog’s initial care could cost from $5,000 to $7,000.
“We’re just hoping that the community can come through for us, you know, and get us the donations that we need to get her the help that she needs,” Louk said.
In the meantime, Animal Charity and Boardman police are working on the case together and will talk with county prosecutors about filing more charges.