Police: Video captures man stuffing pillow cases filled with puppies into drain

Ernest Martin, 39, arrested on 6 counts of animal abandonment

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A man was arrested several months after he put six puppies in pillow cases, tied the pillow cases in a knot and dropped them into a culvert near a storm drain, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said. 

Ernest Martin faces six counts of animal abandonment. 

Martin, 39, was arrested Saturday, but the incident took place last September, police said.

According to the Sheriff's Office, a passerby noticed the pillow cases, and people then took out the puppies, which had been stolen from their owner. 

EXTENDED VIDEO: Surveillance shows puppies stuffed into storm drains

A resident checked their surveillance video, and Martin was seen in it, stuffing the puppies into the culvert at the corner of Clyde Street and Van Buren Avenue, police said.

"It just breaks my heart to see someone hurting animals like that," said the person who recorded the surveillance video. "He throws them real high into the air and over the fence and they're hitting the ground. He came back outside with some pillow cases, grabbed the puppies up one by one, came out here to the drain and started shoving them into the drain."

The witness, who wished to not be identified, told News4Jax on Monday that when the man couldn't stuff all the puppies into one drain, he went to another one. 

"When they started moving around, he was kicking them, trying to shove them back into the drain," the witness said.

Fortunately, all six puppies, which police said belonged to Martin's stepfather, survived the attack. News4Jax learned that one of the puppies now lives with the stepfather, and the others were given to family members. 

Martin's mother, who asked to remain anonymous, said her son's actions were the result of schizophrenia. 

"When he saw the dogs, he though they were little demons," she said. "He goes through little spasms, but he put them in there. He put them in the ditch."

Martin was booked into the Duval County Jail and ordered held on $90,000 bond. 


Viewer warning: The videos, shown in this story, contain graphic details and images that may be considered disturbing to some people. 

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