Mom speaks out after viral video appearing to show her adult son punching a dog in the face

A woman in Miami-Dade CountyFlorida is claiming that a video making the rounds on social media appearing to show her son punching a dog in the face multiple times while it was leashed has been edited.

The video shows a shirtless man behind a chainlink fence grabbing a leashed, white dog and punching it in the face multiple times and the animal crumbling to the ground.

Police in Homestead, where the footage was filmed, said they are investigating and have spoken to a woman at the address shown in the footage. She told police the homeowner was not there at the time of their visit.

The woman, who said her name was Sherika, told 10 News in a phone interview that the footage was not legitimate and that the man in the footage was her son.

“I have a 2-year-old, and the dog was attacking my 2-year-old,” she said. “At first, we thought they were playing because she grew up as a baby with them, and the dog tried to bite her in the face, so my son was taking the dog out, like ‘no, you don’t do that.’”

A man is seen punching a dog at a home in Homestead, Florida. The footage garnered outrage on social media and sparked a police investigation on 27 May, 2024 (screengrab/10News)
A man is seen punching a dog at a home in Homestead, Florida. The footage garnered outrage on social media and sparked a police investigation on 27 May, 2024 (screengrab/10News)

She said someone on the other side of the fence shot and edited the video to show her son beating the dog.

“Whoever put that video out, they put so much in it that is not what my son did at all," she reportedly said.

When pressed on what she meant, she insisted the video was doctored.

“I’m saying, again, whoever did that video, they did it across the fence and they put their own touch to the video, you know you can do that to the video?” she said.

She then said the family's dogs were well cared for, noting that they'd just spent $1,000 to build a dog cage for the animals. The woman also defended her son, saying "he is a great kid."

When asked if she talked to her son about how to properly treat dogs, she told the outlet that she did and that her son was "raised with dogs; his dogs love him."

Yolanda Berkowitz, an animal advocate and the president of Friends of Miami Animals, spoke with NBC 6 and said she had seen the footage and was going to do everything possible to take appropriate action after hearing horror stories about the dogs.

“The story that I am hearing is that these dogs, two dogs are kept in makeshift kennel. There have been reports in the past of these dogs fighting to point that they are bleeding," she told the outlet. "And apparently the story is that these dogs were fighting, and this person took the dog out to teach it a lesson."

She said the video was indicative of the poor treatment of animals in the community.

“The fact that this person thought it was OK, in broad daylight, to be pounding a dog with fists tells you a lot about animal welfare in our community,” she said.

The Miami-Dade Police Department said it was aware of the video and that it "immediately" began an investigation once officers viewed the video.

Homestead police issued a statement assuring the public that it was taking the backlash to the video seriously.

"We understand that the content of this video is deeply disturbing and has caused significant concern within our community and beyond," the statement said. "We want to assure the public that animal abuse is taken very seriously, and we are committed to supporting the Miami-Dade Police Department in any way necessary."