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Man accused of animal abuse scheduled to appear in court

Josiah David Wheat, 31, of Vanzant, charged with five felony counts of animal abuse by torture and/or mutilation while the animal was alive, is scheduled to appear in court April 3 in Douglas County before Circuit Court Judge R. Craig Carter. He was previously ordered to undergo a mental evaluation.

Wheat was charged after allegedly beating five puppies to death.

Douglas County deputies investigated the incident, which allegedly happened on Aug. 25, after Wheat posted video of himself beating the puppies with a baseball bat on Facebook. The Douglas County Sheriff’s Department received calls from across the United States and Canada regarding the video.

In the video, he reportedly hit the dogs 16 times over the course of a minute, most of them still moving and making noises at the end.

A photo of the dead puppies was also allegedly posted, along with the statement “these pups were illegitimate forced upon a beagle at residence while I was away and began too make a mess, in my experience such mess if not handled is latched upon by downgrading individual(s) who want too tear others down, so in essence killing these pups is similar too aborting rape impregnation.” [sic]

According to records, during a search of Wheat’s residence, items matching those seen in the video were found and an area of the home matched a view shown on the video.

The bodies of the puppies were never found, but officers reported there was a female beagle at the residence that appeared to have been nursing puppies. No live puppies were found on the property.

Kim Langston

Quill Staff Reporter

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