Dog shown beaten in viral video in protective custody

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LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) – A dog beaten in a video posted to social media is in protective custody. 

Lancaster police say the graphic video shows 28-year-old Ashley Gaston repeatedly stomping and kicking her 1-year-old terrier Trigger on the front porch of her Beaver Street home.

The video also shows Gaston’s son kicking the dog. Police say Gaston encouraged the boy to abuse the dog.

“If we didn’t have the video to show what occurred, we wouldn’t have been able to take those extra steps to seize the dog, to do the other examinations and determine what happened,” Lancaster police Lt. Bill Hickey said.

An examination showed the dog suffered a bruised lung from the abuse.

Police went to Gaston’s house Friday after they got a report of potential abuse. Gaston initially told officers she hit the dog on the head one time because it bit her son. However, the boy had no visible injuries and police couldn’t see any injuries on the dog, so they had to leave without filing any charges.

“You have to have probable cause to file a charge,” Hickey said. 

Police later found the video on Facebook and say it gave them what they needed to make an arrest. Gaston was arrested on charges of aggravated cruelty to animals and endangering the welfare of children.

Police say a forensic examination is required to see if the dog had been previously beaten.



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