Police Seize 'Meatball' Mastiff After Public Outrage Over Abuse

Eastpointe Michigan Dog Abuse Causes Massive Outrage

An Eastpointe, Michigan, dog named Meatball is safe and being held at a veterinarian’s office after a video of his owner abusing him went viral.

Eastpointe resident Tim Green captured a video on Friday of his neighbor slamming Meatball’s head into a brick wall. He gave an emotional statement to WDIV in Detroit.

“He came back out, pushed the dog on the ground, kicked the dog in the face. Pushed him back on the ground again. I thought he was hurt. I was going to go outside and help him.”

Green’s fiance called 911. But when the police came, they looked at the video and decided not to seize the dog.

Not satisfied with this result, Green showed the video to Detroit Pit Crew dog rescue. They posted it on their Facebook page.

“Apparently this happened in Eastpointe on February 19th and although an arrest warrant has been issued the dog is still in the possession of the abuser and no arrest has been made. PLEASE CONTACT EASTPOINTE POLICE DEPARTMENT TO ASK WHY THIS ANIMAL ABUSER IS NOT IN JAIL.”

The media exploded in outrage. Detroit Pit Crew’s director, Terry Sumpter, told WDIV about the response.

“We have 90,000 followers. We had people all over the country calling us, calling the police department.”

On February 24, the police went to the home with a warrant, broke down the door, and took the dog. Meatball, a 3-year-old Bullmastiff, is in the care of Eastpointe Animal Control and is being kept at a veterinary hospital. He has cuts on his head and scars on his neck.

Detroit Pit Crew dog rescue has been instrumental in broadcasting information about the dog and owner. Their investigation continued, and they later announced that they had found the owner’s place of employment.

“We were able to find out where his owner works and we did provide that information to authorities so we are assuming they will be going to arrest him sometime today.”

Detroit Pit Crew dog rescue is a 501c3 made up of volunteers whose mission is to rescue “destitute dogs” in Detroit. They take stray, injured, and pregnant dogs, as well as dogs who are involved in dog fighting rings, including ones used as bait. As their name implies, many of their rescues are pit bulls or pit bull mixes, but they will help any breed.

As their Facebook page explains, “Detroit Pit Crew dog rescue is primarily a street crew of volunteers that works to get strays and owned dogs that are in danger off of the streets of Detroit and to safety. We also have an investigative team that we use to bring animal abusers to justice. We spend most of our days in the D trapping and rescuing dogs that are in desperate situations.”

The page continues, “Due to the high volume of dogs that we rescue most dogs are transferred out to other responsible rescues. Our team includes five expert trappers, four experienced rehabilitators and a handful of experienced fosters that are capable of keeping a rescues street dog temporarily until a transfer rescue is available.”

“Most of our investigative team is law enforcement. We have added a third division called our Detroit Pit Crew Straight Outta Detroit Project. This project focuses on transporting out many of our rescued Detroit dogs to other shelters or rescue throughout the State of Michigan.”

The rescue group did visit Meatball in the veterinarian’s office and said that he is going to be fine but assured the public that, to the best of their ability, justice will be served.

“We have participated in many many animal abuse cases with successful prosecution so we are well aware of what it takes to get an animal abuser prosecuted and this should be a slam dunk case against this animal abuser.”

Meatball will not be released to any rescue at this point. He is currently being held at the animal hospital while the investigation continues.


According to Detroit Pit Crew, Meatball will not be returned to his abusive owner after the hearing. The hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, March 15. Detroit Pit Crew plans to be present at the hearing and will certainly take custody of the dog if that is what the judge rules. However, they expect that Meatball will be placed with Michigan Humane Society, since that was his original adoption agency.

Detroit Pit Crew has expressed some frustration on their Facebook page, over the fact that Michigan Humane Society, who let the dog go to this owner, has remained silent through Meatball’s entire ordeal.

[Image via Inna Astakhova/Shutterstock]