Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of HarcourtHealth.com and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.

28-year old Ashley Gaston was arrested at her residence on Beaver Street in Lancaster last month on charges of Corruption of Minors, Endangering the Welfare of Children, and Felony Aggravated Cruelty to Animals (Torture) and is currently being held in Lancaster County Prison.

Police originally arrived on the scene after calls were made reporting Gaston abusing her dog, Trigger. When they questioned Gaston about the incident she excused her behavior by suggesting the dog had attacked her son, after which she brought Trigger outside and hit him on the head. The authorities found no evidence to corroborate her story. Gaston’s son showed no signs of bite marks and there were no obvious injuries to Trigger.

Later, a video of the incident was shared on social media websites. It showed Gaston kicking Trigger on the front porch, after which she went inside to get her son. The two returned outside together. The video shows her telling her son to kick Trigger.

Lieutenant Bill Hickey of the Lancaster Bureau of Police said, “Encouraging a 9-year-old to kick this dog, it definitely was one of those things that it needed to be acted on.”

When this new evidence was revealed, police returned to Gaston’s residence. They removed Trigger from the abusive home and sent him to Lancaster Pet Emergency Treatment and Specialties (PETS), where veterinarians discovered he had bruised lungs due to physical violence.

Gaston was taken into custody.

Dog bites can lead to sometimes fatal infections when not treated right away. If attacked by a pet, seek medical attention immediately. Use a clean towel or cloth to put pressure on the wound to slow or stop the bleeding, then use soap and water to clean the wound the best you can. Keep the injury elevated if possible. When you get back from a visit to the doctor, keep a close eye on the site of the injury to ensure any infections don’t get worse.

After an animal attack, try to separate people from the dog. Most dog bites occur because of mixed signals and not because of a bad dog. That’s why most dog bite victims are young children, who also usually sustain more serious injuries because of their size and height.

If you witness animal abuse, call the police immediately. Only record the incident when it is safe to do so. Do not put yourself in harm’s way.