LIBERTY — The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office has charged a local veterinarian for Ill Treatment of an Animal following the investigation into a video clip that was recently disseminated on social media.
During Memorial Day weekend, a short video clip was posted on social media that contained footage of 64-year-old Dr. Robert McKee striking a dog that was contained in a wire kennel. The video appeared to have been taken from inside a business setting, said PCSO Chief Seputy Creed Hashe.
“Deputies from the Sheriff’s Office Animal Enforcement Unit initiated an investigation into the incident on Tuesday, May 29, and were able to develop leads that ultimately led to the identity of the witness that had taken the video,” Hashe said. “The results of the investigation have revealed that on the afternoon of Thursday, May 24, 2018, a witness was inside Foothills Animal Hospital located on Moorefield Memorial Hwy in Liberty.”
The witness stated that they were in a position inside the facility to have observed Dr. McKee’s behavior and mannerisms just prior to the encounter between the veterinarian and a dog that was contained in one of the kennels, he said.
“The witness observed the doctor as he approached the dog’s kennel and there was ample time for the witness to prepare and record the encounter with the dog on a private cell phone,” said Hashe. “Interviews with the eye witness along with other individuals during the investigation have not uncovered any evidence that would indicate that the physical striking of the animal was in the course of any veterinary practice or pursuant to a medical procedure.”
Additionally, officials stated there was no information or evidence discovered during the investigation that would give reason to believe that the striking of the animal was in defense or response to any aggressive or violent behavior exhibited by the dog.
The witness, who does not own the animal, contacted the dog’s owner following the incident at which time the owner responded to the facility to retrieve the animal.
No signs of physical injury were detected on the dog at the time it was picked up, reports stated.
“The Sheriff’s Office has not received any previous complaints or information, prior to this incident, regarding Dr. McKee’s veterinarian practice or the Foothills Animal Hospital in Liberty,” said Hashe.
McKee was charged on Friday morning after he voluntarily turned himself in at the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office. He was arraigned before a Pickens County Magistrate and released on a $3,000 Recognizance Bond.