Editor’s Note: The claim that the puppy died has been removed.

FAIRMONT, W.Va. (WBOY) — A man has been charged after allegedly beating a 10-week-old puppy at a residence in Fairmont.

On Sept. 5, officers with the Fairmont Police Department received a complaint of a “male beating his dog to death” at a residence on Locust Avenue in Fairmont, according to a criminal complaint.

Malaki Richardson

When officers arrived on the scene, they met with the apartment’s manager who stated that dogs were not allowed in the complex, and the caller stated that Malaki Richardson, 20, of Clarksburg, “beat his two dogs,” officers said.

The caller then told officers that a 10-week-old Boxer puppy “appeared to be barely breathing, completely limp, tongue hanging out its mouth and bleeding from the mouth,” at which point the caller contacted 911, according to the complaint.

Prior to officers’ arrival, Richardson had left the residence, and when officers checked the apartment, the dogs were also not present at that time; however, in plain view, officers “observed a sheet on the floor next to puppy pee pads with blood on it,” officers said.

Another witness to the incident stated that Richardson “beat the dog until it was literally dead,” and that “the dog was bleeding out its mouth and tongue hanging out,” and before that, Richardson “was punching the dog” and “would whip the dog,” according to the complaint.

Officers located Richardson at Hickman Run Animal Hospital, and in a Mirandized statement, Richardson stated that “the dogs had tore up the bathroom,” and that he “grabbed [the dog] by the scruff of the neck and beat its a**,” before Richardson “admitted to hitting the dog in the front leg area four times while holding [it] in the air,” officers said.

Richardson has been charged with animal cruelty. He is being held in North Central Regional Jail.