A 14-year-old Utah boy has been charged with bestiality and lewdness for allegedly raping a dog, according to local affiliate FOX 13.
If convicted, the teen could face up to one year in jail and a fine of $2,500 under state law, which classifies cruelty to animals as a misdemeanor offense.
FOX 13 spoke with Cheryl Smith, executive director of the Utah Animal Adoption Center, about the case. She urged lawmakers to pass stricter laws against people who intentionally harm animals.
"These crimes are getting more and more common. And it’s very disturbing," she said.
Smith said the dog had been molested in "unspeakable ways," but that it was in good care now and adjusting well to its new surroundings, according to FOX 13.
She said she learned of the case after a concerned neighbor called to report a dog was being abused. The owners then released the dog to authorities.