Transient accused of beating puppy in Phoenix [GRAPHIC IMAGE]

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX – A transient has been arrested for animal cruelty after he allegedly hit and kicked a 7-month-old puppy.

Phoenix police officers responded to an apartment near Dunlap and 19th avenues Wednesday morning and were told that Kristopher Kimmerling attacked the white pit bull named Haden without provocation, according to Officer James Holmes.

A witness who knows Kimmerling told police that the suspect had been antagonizing the puppy for more than an hour before he opened the gate to the fenced yard of the home and let it out.

Kimmerling then began kicking and hitting the puppy, according to the witness.

Michelle Chandler, who has been fostering Haden for the Crazy Pit Bull Lady rescue group, was alerted to the alleged abuse by her children and told police that she looked out in time to see Kimmerling beating the dog.

"He's just kicking the puppy in the face over and over, and I start screaming at him to stop and I grabbed the puppy," Chandler said.

She then took him to a nearby animal hospital to be treated.

"His face was gushing with blood," she said.

Delaina White, the founder of Crazy Pit Bull Lady, said Haden suffered a broken nose and tooth and punctures in his tongue, which required stitches and staples.

His eyesight was also affected and there could be lasting neurological damage.

"It's very heartbreaking," White said. "It was unnecessary, and he's a very gentle dog. He's never been mean to any other dogs. He's never been mean to people. He didn't deserve this."

Holmes said Kimmerling, 38, was arrested a few blocks away. He was booked into jail for misdemeanor animal cruelty and other unrelated charges.

Haden is still in need of a permanent home.