A northwest D.C. man learned the hard way that animal cruelty laws include lizards.
The Washington Humane Society claimed 43-year-old Nelson Privado was angry after his son returned home late from school in October and decided to take it out on the boy's pet bearded dragon. Privado threw Beardie across the street, killing it.
This week, Privado was convicted of animal cruelty and sentenced to 40 hours of community service, a $100 fine and one year of supervised probation. Neighbors said the crime is about more than just killing a lizard.
“Especially in front of a kid, that’s violent behavior,” said Mike Toburen. “That can be carried on generation to generation. It’s not a very good example.”
Animal advocates are outspoken about the need to stop the frequent occurrences of animal cruelty.
“We have 5 officers that are out there every day, and we investigate over 1,300 complaints a year,” said Scott Giacoppo, of the Washington Humane Society.
It’s important to catch these acts of animal cruelty so that they don’t progress, the Washingotn Humane Society said.
“Unfortunately, you know, today it was the lizard,” Giacoppo said. “Tomorrow it may be the son.”
Privado declined to comment to News4.