By Rosemary Sobol
7:29 AM CST, March 8, 2012
A man was so angered at the barking of his puppy he punched it in the eyes at his Edgewater Beach neighborhood home on the North Side, police said.
Officers responded to a call of animal abuse at a residence in the 1000 block of West Hollywood Avenue Wednesday about 8:30 a.m. Wednesday and saw a 6-month-old brown puppy cowering in a corner. police said.
When they asked the owner, 32-year-old Taj Oatis, what was wrong with it, Oatis said he’d punched the dog in the eyes to discipline the animal because it wouldn’t stop barking, police said.
Officers found both of the pup’s eyes had broken blood vessels and there was blood around its pupils, police said.
Police learned Oatis had an outstanding traffic warrant and found that he cannot be in possession of a dog because he is a convicted felon, police said.
Oatis was charged with cruelty to animals and possession of certain dogs by a felon, both of which are misdemeanors, police said.
Animal Care and Control was notified. Police said Oatis is a self-admitted gang member.
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