MARATHON, Fla. – A small Chihuahua mix named Batman was rescued Tuesday night from its abusive owner, who was beating and starving the dog, Monroe County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Becky Herrin said.
Herrin said deputies were called to City Marina in Marathon about 6:10 p.m. in reference to a drunken man who was abusing his dog.
Witnesses told deputies that David Gross, 51, picked his dog up by its leash and was hanging him, bouncing the dog up and down and hitting him.
Witnesses also said Gross threatened to throw the dog in the water and threatened to kill him.
Deputies said Batman was crying and choking while being abused.
Animal Control officers also responded to the scene and told deputies that Batman was malnourished and that his right leg appeared to have been broken and not reset properly.
Gross, who is a convicted felon in Michigan, was arrested on charges of felony animal cruelty, causing an animal pain and suffering and failing to register as a convicted felon.
Batman is now in the custody of Animal Control.
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