A disturbing video of a dog trainer allegedly abusing dogs in his care has not only caught the attention of officials but sparked outrage among animal lovers.
A video was uploaded to Facebook account Thomas Marrone showing a man from New York-based NYDogWorks in Oceanside using a stick to very forcefully jab at a defenseless pit bull dog in the crate. It is believed the person in the video is the owner of NYDogWorks, Brian DeMartino.
The video was allegedly recorded by DeMartino’s girlfriend and provided to Marrone, a dog owner who previously brought his German shepherd to be trained by the business and now believes his dog was also abused. Marrone posted it online to warn other people of this abuse. To date, it has been viewed more than 100,000 times and shared nearly 5,000. Here it is on a YouTube. (WARNING: Very disturbing video.)
Stefan Lynch wished he would have known sooner about DeMartino. Lynch’s dog was at the facility when this video went viral (the clip was recorded some time ago but only released this past week) and told This Dog’s Life, “I got my dog back yesterday. If the video wasn’t viral, that sick f–k would still have my baby.” According to Lynch, his dog had injuries upon being returned, is more aggressive and fearful and was underweight.
Rose Cruz has a similar story to Lynch’s. Her dog Remy, an Alaskan Klee kai, appears in the video and is in the crate next to the dog being tormented. Cruz sought out DeMartino after her dog had leash aggression.
“He would barking and go crazy while on a leash, and we couldn’t control him around people,” says Cruz. “We were hoping to stop that behavior and have him around other people and dogs.”
After researching trainers and finding nothing negative about DeMartino, she forked over $2,000 to have him boarded and trained.
After the four-week period was complete, Cruz picked up Remy and knew right away something was wrong.
“Remy had multiple sores on his paws. His bones were sticking out. His hair was coming out in clumps to the point where Brian was picking the clumps of hair off the floor in his house,” Cruz says. When they got home, Remy devoured his food. Cruz noticed his gums were bleeding, as a result, she believes, of not having been fed hard food in quite some time. He also had diarrhea and there was blood in it. Remy had a parasite and the paw sores were so swollen and infected they were splitting in half.
“It was just horrible,” Cruz says. “He was so depressed and barely opened his eyes. He barely looked at us.”
She ended up suing DeMartino, and he was forced to pay her veterinary bills. While her experience with DeMartino occurred some time ago, the video brings back horrible memories. “After seeing the video and realizing my dog was in it, it was like reliving the whole thing all over again.”
The SPCA is investigating the case of 44-year-old DeMartino, a person described on the now-defunct NYDogWorks website as an experienced behaviorist who doesn’t use force. The organization was reached for comment and has yet to respond.
Besides officials getting involved, the video has caught the attention of animal lovers who have taken to the web to express their rage.
On Yelp, the company has one star.
“Robert D.” writes on Yelp: “Stay far…far away from this guy. He TRY’s to train dogs by beating, chaining and abusing them! Then he will abuse you verbally when you question him he is the most condescending a..hole I have every met. He should be out of business! He also refused to let my wife leave when she came to pick up our dog from him he actually told her she was not leaving until he gets her signature on his waiver then he proceeded to lock the door to prevent my wife and family from leaving. We should have called the cops on him right then and there. Now there is finally video proving all of the accusations against him see news 12. Stay far away!!!!!”
“Kait M.” also commented, “This guy is disgusting!!!!!!!! Horrible animal abuser!!!!!!! He should never be allowed near another animal again. This is gross and the video is just sickening. This guy is completely gross. How can he even live with himself treating a defenseless animal like this!”
A Facebook group called “Brian DeMartino Victims” has started, with more sad tales emerging about people who turned to him to train their dog and instead believe their animal may have been abused.
No charges have yet been filed. DeMartino did make an appearance on Monday for a domestic assault charge.