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Morgan Co. man charged with animal abuse after beating dog

A Morgan County man was arrested in late August after police responded to a report of animal abuse in Eldon.

A witness told police he saw 48-year-old Kevin Wareham of Versailles beating and kicking the dog in the face, throat, and body.

The witness said he yelled at Wareham to stop, but he continued to beat the dog and ignored him.

The witness said he confronted Wareham, and Wareham attempted to fight him.

The witness went back to his truck to call 911.

A second witness also saw Wareham hit the dog, grab it by the collar, and swing it around in the air.

Court documents said Wareham told an officer he had given his dog a verbal command and it disobeyed, so he punished it. He also said he kneed the dog a few times in the head while grabbing it by the collar, but “it was softly.”

The dog was taken to the vet the next day to be examined. The veterinarian found several healing cuts and swelling on its body. The dog was very sensitive to being touched and it was apparent it suffered trauma.

When police interviewed Wareham, he admitted to kneeing the animal and swinging it around by its collar while he was at Gerbes because it wouldn’t “stay.”

Court documents said Wareham stated, “[the dog] is a thick headed lab and sometimes he had to be rough.” Wareham said he didn’t see his actions as overly abusive, and said “a couple knees to the head a little bit then shake him and make him do something.”

Wareham was charged with animal abuse and held for 24 hours in the Miller County Jail.

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