The football program at Baylor University has suspended wide receiver Ishmael Zamora for three games following revelations of his beating and kicking his dog. The football player also faces a class C misdemeanor for the incident.
“Our football program does not condone this behavior by anyone,” Baylor coach Jim Grobe told the Associated Press. “We are deeply saddened by it and have worked together with the University to hold Ishmael accountable for his actions.”
Zamora still faces a citation from the Waco Police Department on a charge of animal cruelty, Breitbart Texas previously reported. The player was captured on video beating his dog with a belt and kicking the yelping dog over a potty training incident, he claimed.
Former Baylor student Shelby Ball told KXXV ABC25, “I went to authorities probably about two hours after I saw the video. Dogs can’t speak for themselves … I felt like something needed to be done.”
Baylor’s website shows that Zamora is listed to be the starting wide receiver for the team after an outstanding performance during his freshman season. As a red-shirted freshman, he played in all 13 games, had nine receptions for 132 yards and scored two touchdowns.
As for Zamora, the 20-year-old said he became frustrated over a house training incident.
“I’m sorry for my actions,” Zamora said in a written statement on Friday. “I’ve owned the dog for 20 months, he’s perfectly healthy and I love him very much. In the moment, I lost my temper trying to discipline him. I’ve been through training with a dog trainer to help me learn new potty training tips.”
In 2014, in a guidebook for Criminal Justice professionals entitled, “The Link between Violence to Animals and People,” former prosecutor Allie Phillips wrote a 71-page treatise on the correlation between violence perpetrated on animals and violent acts against people. The essay was published by the National District Attorneys Association and has been attached below.
Her study sets out the following correlations between violence against animals and people in the Foreword section of the document:
- Child abuse and elder abuse and neglect have been demonstrated to be correlations of animal cruelty.
- Domestic violence programs are beginning to query about pets and provide shelter for at-risk families and their pets.
- Child protective services workers, adult protective services worker and animal control officers link their observations when performing home visits because they know that where animals are at risk, people often are at risk and vice versa.
- Veterinarians are being trained in forensic pathology to determine cause of death and preservation of evidence for prosecution purposes.
- Law enforcement officers are educated about the often-extensive histories of crimes against society committed by persons who also abuse animals.
- Medical and mental health personnel are beginning to address the traumatic impact of dog bites as well as the connection between dog bites and physical abuse.
- Prosecutors are putting increased emphasis on animal abuse crimes because they understand that the behavior that harms the animal is the same behavior that harms humans.
Phillips is a nationally recognized expert for her work on behalf of animals and vulnerable victims. She is the Director of the National Center for Prosecution of Animal Abuse and the Deputy Director of the National Center for Prosecution of Child Abuse at the National District Attorneys Association in Alexandria, Virginia.
“I am sorry that I took out my frustration on my dog and accept the punishment that comes with it. This incident will never, ever, happen again,” Zamora said. “I truly love my dog, however, I know that my actions showed differently and I know that I made a big mistake.
“I apologize to my family, teammates, Baylor University and our fans for my actions. Eventually, I hope that everyone can see who I really am and that I am not a terrible person. This incident does not and will not define me, and I know that I am the one who will have to prove that to others in the days ahead.”
In addition to the suspension for three games, Zamora also must perform 40 hours of community service “in a manner that will teach him kindness and respect towards animals.” He also faces counseling and must surrender the dog to an animal-friendly home.