GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - A Gulfport man is defending himself against allegations that he beat his dog, after his daughter-in-law posted surveillance video of the alleged beating on social media. The post went viral, and Billy Swain was charged with animal cruelty.
But Swain said what people think they saw in that video just isn't so.
"It looks bad, really it does, but I didn't hit my dog," Swain said. "Me and him live together. He wakes me up every morning in the day light, he throws his feet up and licks me, and we get up and start our day together."
Swain said he was disciplining his dog by hitting the seat near him in his truck. We stopped by Billy Swain's home Tuesday, and his dog, Albert, appeared to be happy and healthy.
"He didn't want to go in because he wanted to go play with other dogs. So I forced him in there, went around on the other side, and I was beating the seat, not him. And everybody thinks I was hitting my dog."
Animal Control Officer Candice Woods said after reviewing the footage, and checking out Swain's dog at his home, they found no signs of abuse and did not seize Albert.
"You can't see him hitting the dog, you don't know if he is or not," Woods said.
Meanwhile, Reaghan Swain said she wants justice for the dog.
"She's saying that he was hitting the dog, and her 11-year-old son was crying and upset about it, and this is not the first time," Woods noted.
Officer Woods said there was a warrant out for Swain's arrest, but he turned himself in to Biloxi Police. He was released on his own recognizance, and the rest is for a judge to decide.
Swain's court date for an animal cruelty charge is set for February 6.
We reached out to Reaghan Swain's lawyer for a comment, but haven't heard back yet. We will update this story if a comment becomes available.