Calvin Battle charged with animal cruelty

A 26-year-old Atlanta man was arrested and charged with animal cruelty after he was caught on video viciously beating a dog in an animal shelter.

Calvin Battle was fired after a supervisor viewed a surveillance video that showed him using a metal bowl to beat a dog in a kennel at the DeKalb County Animal Shelter. Battle was an employee of LifeLine Animal Project, the organization which is contracted to manage the DeKalb County Animal Shelter.

Animals at the shelter are usually abused and abandoned by their previous owners.

Battle and another man were filling bowls with dog food when the incident happened. The surveillance video shows Battle entering a cage where 2 dogs had been fighting over the food. Battle is seen savagely beating one of the dogs with a metal feeding bowl. Another Lifeline worker stands outside the cage and watches the beating taking place.

LifeLine’s executive director, Rebecca Guinn, told Channel 2 Action News that Battle will never work for Lifeline again.

“We were stunned,” Guinn said after viewing the video. “We have a zero tolerance policy for any kind of mistreatment of the animals and we were mortified by this.”

Guinn said even if the dogs inside had been fighting, employees are trained on how to safely handle that. “They’re supposed to use a hose, actually, to separate the dogs,” said Guinn.

Guinn said Battle passed a standard background check that came back clean. “There’s a background check and reference checks, so we had no indication that he did not know how to handle animals,” Guinn said. “This is a gentleman who came to us with a good deal of experience on his resume. Obviously it’s not the kind of experience that we want.”

Police launched an investigation into Battle’s background to determine if there are any past incidents of animal cruelty. The dog involved in the beating, as well as 2 other dogs in the kennel, were taken to a veterinarian to be evaluated for injuries.

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