Accident or abuse? Police investigating dog drowning

Owner investigated after dog drowning

GULFPORT, Fla. -- You can see the anger on Facebook. Many are upset, sad and confused in Gulfport after a man allegedly tossed his dog off of a pier causing it to drown.

It happened along Shore Boulevard the day before Thanksgiving.

One post shows the man being questioned by police.
 
Kenneth Revel lives in Gulfport and considers his dog family. He echoed the sentiments of the community.

“Hearing that thing with the pier that's just messed up,” Revel said.

Gulfport police haven't charged him, adding more fuel to the fire. So, what really happened? 10News WTSP tracked down the man who owns the dog.

“I love my dog, I always had dogs,” said the owner, Joe Bradford.

He had his pitbull named Rock since it was little. He says he's not the man being portrayed on social media.

Bradford claims he was trying to get Rock in the water to clean fleas off of him. 

“I just dumped him in like that, like the first time he came back and swam to me. But, this time, I forgot the chain was too heavy and end up, I'm looking at him, I'm like damn, he's drowning,” he said.

“I end up running to the best I could, the fastest I can, to strip and go save him. And, then when I got him, I did CPR and breathed into his nose and his mouth and he didn't come back.”

Do you feel like this was a bad mistake?

"Of course, absolutely," said Bradford.

He opened up to 10News because he wanted people to know he has nothing to hide and truly loved his dog.

“I'm a human. Everyone makes mistakes and I don't fight dogs. I'm not like no Michael Vick going to fight dogs and none of that.”

Bradford says his sincerity is why police believed him and let him go. But, we're told the investigation hasn't been closed and he could still face charges.

“It was not enough for us to charge him at that point, so we are going to meet with prosecutors and then we'll have a discussion to make a decision at that point.”

Bradford has cooperated with police. 


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