From our News Partners at WCBD-TV:
A Summerville teenager has been charged with animal cruelty after videos that allegedly show him throwing cats surfaced on social media.
According to the Charleston Animal Society, 18-year-old Deonta Weaver posted two videos of him throwing cats on Instagram and Vine, two popular social media applications.
The videos show Weaver allegedly luring a cat closer to him, once the cats get close enough, it appears that Weaver throws them in the air.
"I couldn't believe someone would lure at cat, that's obviously a friendly cat if it came up to him, and throw it just for the fun of it," Aldwin Roman said.
Roman is one of the main animal cruelty investigators with the animal shelter. He said that he received an anonymous tip on Facebook which showed the two videos back in September. After months of his own investigating, he was able to pass along the videos to Mt. Pleasant police.
Monday, Weaver faced a judge and was sentenced to either 30 days in jail or 50 hours of community service.
Roman said he has seen an increase in the number of people who post these type of videos on social media. That is making his job less difficult.
"It's easier to capture and to prosecute," Roman said. "People are incriminating themselves. It makes my job a little bit easier."
While the public often hears many stories of abuse towards dogs, officials at the Charleston Animal Society say cruelty against cats is also a problem. The issue is, however, that the cats often run away, so they have a hard time proving the abuse actually occurred.
There are also concerns that abuse towards animals could eventually lead to worse crimes, according to the CEO of the animal shelter.
"It's commonly referred to as the link," Joe Elmore said. "That means folks who perpetrate animal cruelty will do the same thing in terms of acts of cruelty towards humans or it would lead to violence."
Investigators said it appears that Weaver was copying someone else when he posted the videos. Officials were unable to discover any additional videos.
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