• DeKalb shelter employee accused of animal cruelty


    DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - An employee at the DeKalb County animal shelter accused of abuse is jailed and could potentially lose his job.

    Video taken at the shelter on Wednesday shows 26-year-old Calvin Battle, of Atlanta, using a metal bowl to repeatedly strike an animal inside a kennel, police said.

    Rebecca Guinn, director of Lifeline Animal Project, the agency operating the shelter, told Channel 2 Action News she’s never had an incident like this.

    “All we know is what we saw in the video but that’s enough for us to determine that this is not an employee for Lifeline,” Guinn said.

    A DeKalb County police sergeant assigned to the animal cruelty unit immediately went out to confront Battle. Police said that Battle was also accused of kicking an animal multiple times.

    Battle is charged with one count of animal cruelty, a misdemeanor.

    Guinn said that Battle is a new employee, hired on July 1 when Lifeline took over operations of the county animal shelter.

    Battle has past experience as a dog groomer and passed a background check and reference check, according to Guinn.

    “We were stunned. We have a zero tolerance policy for any kind of mistreatment of the animals and were mortified by this. He will be terminated based on what we saw in the video,” she said.

    Another shelter employee told Channel 2 Action News the animals may have been fighting.

    “They’re supposed to use a hose actually to separate the dogs. They’re supposed to use water, call for help,” Guinn said.

    Battle remains in the DeKalb County Jail on $2,500 bond. Three animals involved have been taken to a veterinarian.

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