JASPER COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Deputies with the Jasper County Sheriff's Office arrested an 18-year-old Buna man on an animal cruelty charge on Tuesday in connection to allegations that he rescued a puppy on the side of the ride and left it in an animal hospital's mailbox.
Michael Levi Griffin was arrested and charged with Class A misdemeanor cruelty to non-livestock animals on Tuesday.
According to the arrest affidavit, a lieutenant with the Jasper County Sheriff's Office was dispatched out to the Buna Animal Hospital located at 34299 U.S. Highway 96 South on Feb. 13 because the staff wanted to file an animal cruelty charge.
When the JCSO lieutenant arrived at the animal clinic, he spoke to a veterinarian, who told him that someone had placed a small puppy in the large mail box outside the business' front door on Saturday. The veterinarian said she found the puppy at about 8 a.m. the next day after she heard it yelping.
The veterinarian reviewed the animal hospital's security video and saw a white male driving a gray Ford F-250 pickup pull up to the front of the business. In the video, a man got out of the truck with the puppy and put it in the animal hospital's mail box.
After the surveillance video was released to media in Jasper County Griffin came to the sub-courthouse in Buna and told someone that he was the person that put the puppy in the mail box.
"Griffin said he found the dog on the side of the road between Buna and Kirbyville and picked it up because he was scared it was going to get run over," the affidavit stated. "Griffin said he drove to the Buna Animal Hospital and circled the building to see if anyone was there. Griffin then decided to put the puppy inside the mail box beside the door."
Griffin said he put the puppy in the mailbox, so it would be safe until the animal hospital's employees returned, the affidavit stated. He also allegedly said he saw a sign that said the employees would return at 1 p.m.
When he was asked if he called the animal clinic to see if they had found the puppy, Griffin said no, the affidavit stated.