Facebook suspends account of man accused of cropping dogs’ ears while they were awake

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – News4JAX learned Friday that Facebook has suspended the account of Eric Davis, who was arrested on a charge of cruelty to animals.

Officers with Animal Care and Protective Services showed up at his house in Murray Hill on Thursday, where they removed 17 dogs. Nearly three weeks before their removal, Davis was arrested after police said he posted videos of himself on Facebook cropping the ears of pit bulls with a pair of scissors while the dogs were strapped down on a wooden plank.

The arrest report states that some of the dogs were awake and not sedated during the procedure. Investigators said some of the dogs required medical care.

The videos were removed after News4JAX contacted Facebook’s corporate office. They had been on the Facebook page for months.

Hours after contacting Facebook, News4JAX received a statement:

  • “Upon review, the content violated our policies and we have removed the posts and disabled the account.
  • “For the following content, we include a warning screen so that people are aware the content may be disturbing. We also limit the ability to view the content to adults, ages 18 and older:
    • “Imagery of humans committing acts of torture or abuse against live animals.
    • “Imagery of animals showing wounds or cuts that render visible innards or dismemberment, if there is no explicit manufacturing, hunting, taxidermy, medical treatment, rescue or food consumption, preparation or processing context, or the animal is already skinned or with its outer layer fully removed.
  • “We rely on a combination of community reports, technology, and human review to remove violating content. Anyone can report content to us if they think it violates our standards. Once reported, our global Community Operations team reviews that content.
  • “Since harm to the animal may not be immediately apparent, it may be missed by our technology or team. However with additional context from reporting, our teams can review the content to see if they violate our policies and need to be removed from our platform.
  • “We regularly consult organizations like PETA, WWF, and others to make sure our policies on animals are in the right place.”

Jim Crosby is a retired Jacksonville police officer who is now one of the nation’s leading experts on animal cruelty investigations.

“It would be like doing surgery on one of your friends or family without using a doctor or using anesthesia or any proper procedures,” Crosby said. “It’s got to be incredibly painful for these dogs.”

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, ear cropping a pit bull does not add any health benefit to the dog even though it is legal in the U.S., but under strict guidelines to protect the animal.

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