TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A 24-year-old Florida woman has been arrested after she was apparently caught clubbing her mother-in-law’s 9-year-old Siberian Husky with a rubber mallet on video, according to deputies.
The “disturbing” video posted to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office YouTube page appears to show 24-year-old Elizabeth Jaimes, of Tampa, holding the dog, called “Maya,” by a leash and repeatedly striking the dog with a rubber mallet on the head and torso, deputies said.
Several thuds and yelps could be heard.
WFLA.com has chosen not to share the video due to its graphic nature.
Deputies said Jaimes was living with her boyfriend and his mother who noticed Maya had injuries she received around August when Jaimes moved in. At the request of a veterinarian, the mother installed a hidden camera in their home to see how the dog was getting injured.
The sheriff’s office said that’s how the owner discovered the “disturbing abuse occurring at the hands of Jaimes.”
Deputies were called to the home on May 1 and arrested Jaimes on a charge of aggravated cruelty to animals with a weapon.
Jaimes admitted to hitting the dog because he had growled at her.
The Veterinary Emergency Group later confirmed that Maya had suffered multiple blunt-force head and back injuries, including spine and rib fractures, and was blind in one eye.
“The actions of Elizabeth Jaimes are reprehensible,” Sheriff Chad Chronister said. “No animal deserves to be treated cruelly and inhumanely, and we will not tolerate it. Our team acted swiftly to take Maya into custody and provide her with emergency medical care.”
Following the arrest, Maya was reunited with her owner and is recovering at home. The owner has filed for an injunction against Jaimes.
“As a dog lover, it is gut-wrenching to hear this precious animal cry for help,” said Chronister. “We are pleased to hear that Maya is recovering at home with her owner.”
People who live near the home where the abuse happened were shocked to see the video.
“That is extremely inhumane, a despicable individual,” said Ricardo Betancourt.
An investigation remains active and ongoing.