An employee of an East Texas school district is facing animal cruelty charges after police say he was recorded on video Saturday tossing five puppies over a fence at the Humane Society.
Video cameras outside The Humane Society of Harrison County's The Pet Place in Marshall recorded a man in a Marshall Independent School District vehicle taking the puppies one-by-one from a large cardboard box and tossing them over a high chain-link fence.
That man was later identified as 61-year-old school district employee Paul Warren Smith.
"MISD officials are aware of the incident. MISD will provide full cooperation with the Marshall Police Department. The employee has been placed on administrative leave pending further investigation," the district said in a statement.
Kay Hill, the director for The Pet Place, told NBC 5 Tuesday a caretaker found four of the puppies in the yard Saturday afternoon and that the fifth was located Monday after a review of the surveillance video showed five being dropped into the yard.
Hill said all of the dogs are healthy and were uninjured, including the fifth who sought shelter under a porch from weekend thunderstorms that dropped several inches of rain and large hail on much of the state.
The puppies are approximately 3-weeks-old and appear to be a Labrador mix, Hill said. All five of the puppies are being cared for and will be put up for adoption when they reach 8 weeks old.
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Hill added that rather than tossing the puppies over the fence, Smith could have left them in the cardboard box on the porch or could have taken them to a city-run animal shelter where there were caretakers present.
Smith, who now faces animal cruelty charges, is reportedly cooperating with investigators.