Couple from Ypsilanti charged with animal cruelty


ANN ARBOR – Ypsilanti residents Toreek Belton and Nandella Penn lately accepted a plea settlement from the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office after witnesses noticed them dragging, beating and kicking puppies, in accordance with the Humane Society of Huron Valley.

On Oct. 20, the couple was charged with a misdemeanor and every pled to at least one rely of animal cruelty/abandonment.

According to HSHV, a bystander noticed Penn punch a pet repeatedly on March 29, which he then tossed onto a garden. The eyewitness mentioned they have been “horrified” after seeing the incident and the pet’s problem strolling afterward and contacted the HSHV Cruelty Investigators.

The incident was caught on video surveillance footage, which confirmed the bystander’s account. Additional footage recovered from the property revealed extra violent abuse.

These incidents included “one with a defendant throwing a puppy to the ground; another with a defendant hitting a puppy dozens of times apparently to get him to climb stairs, each hit launching the pup up a stair. Eventually, the puppy struggled to walk up the stairs in a sideways manner, on his own,” reads an HSHV launch.


Two puppies and a younger canine have been swiftly eliminated from the property by HSHV Cruelty Investigators who had obtained a search warrant. The three canine have been in HSHV’s care since late March.

As a part of the plea settlement, the couple agreed to pay $4,000 in restitution, which the HSHV says is a “fraction of the actual cost of boarding and medical treatment for the three dogs.”

“It’s important to note that this type of repeated violent abuse by caregivers doesn’t just create physical injuries,” HSHV’s President and CEO Tanya Hilgendorf mentioned in a launch. “Just like with children, this kind of trauma can have a lasting impact. Dogs are resilient and so forgiving, but abuse—particularly during critical developmental stages—can be quite detrimental, causing ongoing fear and anxiety, and an inability to feel safe even in a loving home. That is why both expert medical and behavioral treatment—and patient adopters—for victims of cruelty are so critical.”


The HSHV mentioned that loving placements have been discovered for the canine.

The defendants will seem within the 14A-2 District Court in Ypsilanti for official sentencing on Dec. 20. Following the sentencing, they are going to be positioned on probation throughout which they are going to be prohibited to own, personal or home any animals.

“This horrible case is a reminder that animals are completely dependent on humans for protection,” Hilgendorf mentioned in a launch. “If no one had reported this cruel situation, those innocent puppies would continue to be hurt and there would surely be other victims to follow. They need us to be their voice. We are so grateful to those caring and brave community members who called us and helped with this case.”

Anyone in Washtenaw County who suspects animal neglect or abuse can report incidents on-line to HSHV or name 734-661-3512.

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