A 40-year-old DreamWorks animator — one who worked on animal-themed children’s movies such as “Kung Fu Panda” and “Madagascar 2” — has been arrested on an animal cruelty charge after a surveillance camera videotaped him beating a neighbor’s muzzled dog with a hammer.
Young Song pleaded not guilty in court yesterday and faces a preliminary hearing next month. He allegedly climbed a fence into a neighbor’s yard in Pasadena. Surveillance camera video shows the 16-month-old dog being beaten but does not reveal what Song did with the dog.
Authorities say the dog is missing and presumed dead.
Song was being held on $40,500 bail, according to authorities, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“When our officers first viewed the videotape, one of our officers had tears in his eyes. He’d never seen anything like this before,” said Steve McNall, who heads the Pasadena Humane Society and Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. “In my 31 years at this animal shelter I’ve never seen anything like this.”
McNall’s agency, which is licensed to investigate crimes involving animals, is conducting the probe. It made the arrest in conjunction with Pasadena police.
According to authorities, the suspect shot the dog with a pellet gun, then returned with a hammer and began chasing and striking the animal.
The Times reported that Young works as a “surfacer,” an artisan who creates the look and surface qualities for animated characters, props and environments. Young’s credits on animal-themed films also include “Shark Tale” and “Bee Movie.”
The motive for the attack is not clear. “It might have originated as a barking issue, a noise issue, and then escalated into something else,” McNall said.
If convicted, Song could face more than four years in prison, the district attorney’s office said.