Overland Park teen pleads guilty to beating puppy

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Juantez Howard, 18, pleads guilty to animal cruelty.

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — A teenager pleaded guilty to animal cruelty and could receive 16-days of ‘shock-time’ in jail as well as a $1,000 fine.

The case was first reported in April, and FOX 4’s Robert Townsend spoke to a neighbor who witnessed the abuse of a puppy named Rasha, a shepherd-mix.  The neighbor took video on his cell phone of Juantez Howard, 18, beating the 8-month old dog.

The neighbor says he heard the dog yelping and went out to see what was happening. He says he grabbed his cell phone when he saw his neighbor standing on his backyard deck, lashing the puppy with a belt at least 15 times.

He called Overland Park police, who came out and arrested Howard.

Howard’s sentencing is scheduled for October 8.  Prosecutors have recommended 16 days of shock jail-time, a $1,000 fine, a one-year underlying sentence with an agreement to probation through a work-release arrangement.

They’ve also recommended he complete an anger-management program and undergo a psychological evaluation.

Additionally, he is expected to be ordered not to own any dogs or cats.

Rasha was treated at the Heartland SPCA in Merriam.