Atlanta realtor, William Scaffidi, is facing 6 months in jail and a $500 fine for setting off fireworks beside his white husky mix, named Betty Boop. The fireworks terrified the 4-year-old dog so badly, the video shows her cowering in fear and running back and forth trying desperately to find cover.
All of this was caught on video by Scaffidi’s 13-year-old daughter, which she posted on social media. Those in the animal-loving community didn’t take too kindly to what they witnessed and were forthcoming in their comments to the video post. One post read, “That’s just horrible. They don’t deserve that dog.” Another read, “There’s only one SOB up there, and it isn’t the dog.” Other comments were not as kind.
Scaffidi told Nefertiti Jaquez with WSB-TV 2 that he “didn’t even know the dog was there.” What appears on the video, as well as statements he made to another news agency, seem to contradict that claim.
According to Kaitlyn Ross with 11Alive, Scaffidi told the Fulton County Animal services while being cited that “he thought ‘it was funny,’ and ‘didn’t know how scared the animal was going to get.'” Indeed, while Betty Boop is scurrying in sheer terror, you can hear laughter in the background of the video. But, animal control didn’t buy it. An officer told 11Alive, “As human beings, we are entrusted with the care of these living creatures and that is not how you care for a living creature.”
So far, then, there are two stories Scaffidi uses to rationalize his conduct. He initially says he thought it was funny and didn’t know his dog would be frightened by the ordeal. Then, he says he didn’t know his dog was in the area where he set off the fireworks. These inconsistent statements destroy any credibility he may have had to explain away his dastardly prank.
Scaffidi makes a spectacle of himself acting like an 8-year-old miscreant. No doubt about that. It is despicable that he has his 13-year-old child recording the entire escapade. Equally egregious is that he put his dog at risk of great bodily injury. Lighting fireworks near anyone or any animal is unsafe, period. As a matter of fact, after Scaffidi lights the fireworks, the video shows him quickly hiding behind the door, while his dog sits in the middle of where he sets them off. He was completely devoid of any concern for the well-being over a helpless animal – his helpless animal.
Scaffidi told WSB-TV 2 that what he did is “not reflective of [him] at all.” Maybe not. Nevertheless, he committed a crime and must now face the consequences. In addition, his antics were captured on video and posted on social media for the whole wide world to see. The latter will be the harder issue to deal with. How embarrassing…