PETA: MTSU players should be charged with animal cruetly

April 13, 2017: The activist group PETA wants 2 MTSU football players to be charged after a video surfaced showing one of them hitting a puppy.

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is calling for two MTSU football players to be charged after a video surfaced showing one of them hitting a puppy.

PETA issued a statement Thursday concerning the video. 

Redshirt senior defensive lineman Justin Akins and redshirt junior linebacker Shalom Alvarez are at the center of the investigation being conducted by Murfreesboro Police.

PREVIOUS: 2 MTSU football players suspended amid animal cruelty investigation

This comes after a video posted on Akins' Snapchat account in which Alvarez can be seen repeatedly striking a puppy, according to an MPD police report.

"PETA is calling for authorities to check on the puppy’s welfare and for cruelty to animals charges against both the abuser and the person who filmed the violent act, in addition to their suspensions," PETA Senior Director Stephanie Bell said in a statement to The USA TODAY NETWORK -- Tennessee. "Viciously striking a puppy is a violation of Tennessee’s anti-cruelty statute—and that the cruel act was filmed and bragged about on social media is cause for even more concern.

"Abusing animals and bragging about it indicates a lack of empathy and self-control that will surely have even more consequences if not dealt with at the root."

No arrests have been made and no charges have been filed against either of the players, and both remain suspended while the investigation is ongoing.

Akins played in all 13 games last season and recorded 27 tackles and led all linemen with four pass breakups.

He's recorded 1.5 sacks over the past two seasons.

Alvarez joined the Blue Raiders in 2016 but did not play in any games.

Reach Aldo Amato at 615-278-5109 and on Twitter @Aldo_Amato.

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