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Elkhart woman raising awareness about animal abuse

Published: Mar. 3, 2021 at 6:14 PM EST
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ELKHART, Ind. (WNDU) - An Elkhart woman is silent no more.

Today, Maria Mikhalchuk shared her shocking tale of animal abuse with 16 News Now.

Last August, Mikhalchuk came home to check on her dogs during her lunch hour and everything was fine.

When she returned home after work, her Boston Terrier Abby appeared to be in shock and died in her arms.

Mikhalchuk became suspicious and installed a Ring surveillance camera to keep an eye on her other dog, Zoey--a 12-year-old, one-eyed terrier who is deaf and blind.

On the second day of operation, the camera captured Mikhalchuk’s boyfriend at the time carrying the dog by its neck before wrapping it in a blanket.

The man then kicks the dog twice in the face, and loud slapping noises can be heard as he raises the dog out of the camera’s view.

“And then, after he did that, he just took her and body slammed her,” said Mikhalchuk. He’s 240-pounds, taking on a 12-pound defenseless animal who is deaf and blind.”

Mikhalchuk says she is not talking publicly about the incident as any kind of vendetta. “I want to spread awareness. I want anybody who is in any kind of abusive situation to speak. That’s the only way they’re going to end this cycle.”

Both Maria and Zoey continue to slowly recover from the ordeal.

16 News Now caught up with the pair today in Walker Park in Elkhart.

“Months ago, I couldn’t talk about it. There were days I couldn’t get out of bed. Some days I would just break down. There were days I couldn’t sleep. I cried myself to sleep because of the guilt,” Mikhalchuk explained.

Her shock and trauma have now given way to a desire for justice. Maria recently filed a police report about the matter and she’s confident that criminal charges will be filed. “Had I not seen the footage, and I think that’s why, I think, I attached the footage. I would not have understood the audacity of what happened, the pure evil and cruelty that went into this.”

This week, Mikhalchuk did suffer a setback when her request for a protective order to keep distance between her and the culprit was denied in court, but that hasn’t weakened her resolve.

“To have this monster come in my life and to take from me what I hold so near and dear to me, I will not allow it. This is why I’m speaking out. Awareness for other people to make sure they’re protecting their loved ones.”

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