It was a promise of a second chance, but 4-year-old Rottweiler rescue Gipper's new life ended just days after it began.
New Port Richey Police say the dog's death was caused by his brand-new owner, 47-year old Brian Perry.
"They have a bunch of dogs. It's very shocking that that would happen," Perry's neighbor, Duke Carmack said Tuesday.
Police say Gipper got loose from his home, ran over to a neighbor's house and starting barking at their dogs through a screen enclosure. A witness told police Perry then ran outside and started beating the dog with his fists.
"This was a 86.5 pound Rottweiler that was hit, supposedly with the fists and only with the fists, but with enough force to cause the dog to die," New Port Richey Police Officer Lauren Letona said.
The dog was adopted from a south Florida Rottweiler rescue group just two weeks ago.
"In 30 years that I have been involved with Rottweilers, especially doing rescues, I have never encountered an incident like this," Gulfstream Guardian Angels Rottweiler Rescue President Grace Acosta said Tuesday.
Acosta says the couple cleared the group's background checks. The rescue even posted pictures to their website of Gipper heading home, saying his new owners are "in love with hi."
"These people that adopted this dog from us went through the whole thing. We had excellent vet reports, we had someone visit their home, checking the home. It was approved. And they came with their own dog to meet with us," Acosta said.
Perry's wife told FOX 13 that Gipper was violent. She says Perry was trying to protect the neighbor's pets.
Police say there's no excuse.
"I think it was disturbing to everyone involved. I actually lost sleep over it," Officer Letona said.
New Port Richey Police say Perry admits to beating the dog, but he won't tell them where he put the body. Perry is charged with animal cruelty.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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