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Hephzibah Man Beats Stray Dog, Breaking Her Teeth & Tail


A Hephzibah man was locked up on an animal cruelty charge after allegedly beating a stray dog to near death with a stick and rake, authorities said.

Thomas Britt Rogers Jr., 72, was charged Friday with aggravated cruelty to animals, a felony, after a horrifying attack on a defenseless female canine named Khalani. (Update on condition below.)

The incident occurred at 3260 Parker Road, Hephzibah, Ga., on the morning of March 20. According to authorities, Rogers used a stick and potato rake to repeatedly strike Khalani across her body, inflicting severe injuries.

The dog sustained a severe fracture to her last lumbar vertebra, with displacement of the pelvis. Additionally, her tail was broken from the pelvis, and she suffered puncture wounds to her left rear leg, broken teeth, facial swelling, and swelling along the rib area and lower back.

Veterinary experts noted that the injuries were consistent with a tremendous downward force of the object striking the lower back, causing significant trauma to the animal. Khalani, described as a female stray dog, was left in agonizing pain as a result of this brutal assault.

Animal control swiftly responded to the scene following the incident and transported Khalani to Rodgers Veterinary Service in Thomson. Her condition was not available at the time of this report.

The authorities have classified the incident as a felony due to the severity of the injuries inflicted upon Khalani and the deliberate nature of the attack.

UPDATE: After posting this initial story, a group of volunteers with Dog and Cat Networking Agents posted an update on Facebook, saying Khalani received amazing care at Rodgers Veterinary Service. They said the canine has a long road to recovery and is in the hands of their networking group of compassionate volunteers.

“Kahlani is in the care of our rescue, Dog Networking Agents,” a volunteer told us. “Her injuries are pretty severe. She is still being housed at one of our Veterinarians and receiving excellent care. She was initially paralyzed from her injuries. She has months of recovery ahead and will need physical therapy. Honestly, the injuries to her spine were pretty severe. She will probably never be the dog she once was.”

Greg Rickabaugh
Greg Rickabaugh
Greg Rickabaugh is an award-winning crime reporter in the Augusta-Aiken area with experience writing for The Augusta Chronicle, The Augusta Press and serving as publisher of The Jail Report. Rickabaugh is a 1994 graduate of the University of South Carolina and has appeared on several crime documentaries on the Investigation Discovery channel.
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