FULTON COUNTY, Ga. -- Authorities have charged a Fulton County man seen on video intentionally terrifying his dog with fireworks.
Video shows the man, identified as William Scaffidi, light a string of fireworks behind the husky mix. The dog runs back and forth terrified. Someone in the background is heard laughing.
According to Fulton County Animal Services, Scaffidi's 13-year-old daughter shot the video and posted it on social media, tagging her father. (See video below)
Animal services officials said they began getting calls early Wednesday about the video.
"The floodgates opened, every other call that has come in today has been about this," said Tim Poorman, Field Services Director at Fulton County Animal Services. "We have had calls from all over the country, from Canada and Mexico."
Animal rights activist Ariane McClure said she was horrified by the video.
"It's very close to home," said McClure. "My dog is very scared of fireworks, and I did everything I could possibly do over the 4th of July holiday to make sure my dogs were affected as little as possible, and to see that someone would do that -- especially in front of children."
William Scaffidi is facing charges of animal cruelty and failure to have a license to own a pet in Fulton County after video of the incident spread on social media.
Scaffidi allegedly told Poorman that he thought the prank would be "funny," and he didn't think the dog would be that scared.
"He thought it would just be fun to scare the dog on the 4th of July with fireworks," Poorman said.
The director issued him the citations, but could not confiscate the animal because she was in good physical condition when he went to the house.
"The dog was in good health, had all the provisions, dog house, water," Poorman said.
Scaffidi has a court date July 26 in Fulton County Magistrate Court. The judge can fine him up to $500, make him surrender the dog and prevent him from ever owning animals in Fulton County again. He could also jail him for up to 6 months.
Scaffidi refused to talk to 11Alive's Kaitlyn Ross on camera, but he did say would call her back with a phone interview. He then said this has been “brutal, just brutal and terrible for my family. I plan to exonerate myself."