Three teenagers were charged with animal abuse and were subsequently arrested in Nassau County on Saturday.
The arrest came after a video emerged on social media showing the teenagers, of ages 13 and 14, throwing a bunny against a wall. The video, which has been viewed thousands of times, has instigated an investigation into the brutal and cruel act.
According to Nassau County Sheriff’s Office, the incident occurred in a house on Fernandina Beach. The perpetrators will be sent to the Duval Juvenile Detention Center, after which they may be turned over to the parents, as reported by Kiro 7.
The injured animal, who sustained a fractured leg and minor wounds, was taken to Nassau County Animal Services. The Nassau County Animal Services posted on its Facebook page that while the bunny is receiving additional care, it will not be available for adoption.
“The bunny is safe and sound,” the Facebook post reads. “X-rays have shown a leg fracture so this bunny won’t be available for adoption for awhile. The bunny will be receiving additional vet care until fully healed.”
A neighbor, who asked to not be identified, said she was shocked when she saw the incident on the news. “In this area you never really see any problems at all, everyone stays to themselves,” the neighbor said.
According to Audrey Dearborn, a licensed mental health counselor, teenagers who engage in animal abuse and cruelty generally come from homes where mistreatment of animals occurs. This, he said, can also lead to crimes against humans.
“A lot of times these are kids that have some social issues,” Dearborn said, as reported by News4jax. “They can’t seem to make friends or have activities where there is some common bond in the violent act.”