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Animal abuse charges filed

An area man is facing felony charges after he police say he stomped two puppies and then threw them into the woods.

Justin T. Lewis, 36, of Park Hills, is being charged with two class E felonies of animal abuse.

According to a probable cause statement, on Monday at 10:15 a.m. a Park Hills officer was contacted by the Park Hills Animal Control to respond to a home in the 600 block of Taylor Avenue.

Two neighbors told the officer that they saw Lewis at 5:30 a.m. stomping two small animals that were whining. They said he threw the animals into the woods. 

When they came home at 9:45 a.m. they heard a puppy whining in the woods, so they went looking for it and found the puppies in the woods. He said one puppy was hurt badly and the other one was dead with its guts hanging out.

The officer saw the male puppy that was still alive had maggots in its mouth and a cut on its left armpit area. The officer also noted that the female puppy was dead.

The officer then went to talk with Lewis about the puppies and he told the officer that he placed them there because they died earlier that day and he was going to bury them. The officer then placed Lewis under arrest for animal abuse.

The officer also told Lewis that one puppy had not died and that the neighbor had witnessed him stomping the puppies. The officer had animal control take the male puppy to Animal Medical Center for treatment and the deceased female puppy to see if the veterinarian could determine the cause of death.

The veterinarian provided two written reports on the puppies to the police department. The male puppy is still alive. 

The officer also spoke with Lewis’ girlfriend, who said she saw Lewis pick up the puppies and when she asked what he was doing, he told her the puppies had died and he was going to bury them. His girlfriend is disabled so she was unable to follow him outside.

She also told the officer she had no idea that Lewis had done that to those puppies and that she was going to kick him out of the house, because she has seven other puppies and didn’t want anything to happen to them.

Lewis is being held in the St. Francois County Jail on a $10,000 bond.



Renee Bronaugh is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3617 or

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