Saturday, 02 March 2024

Officials investigate puppy dragging case

THIS STORY HAS BEEN UPDATED WITH NEW INFORMATION FROM AN EYEWITNESS.


NICE – County Animal Care and Control officials are investigating a case in which a puppy was dragged behind a vehicle.


The incident, involving an 11-week-old male German shepherd puppy, took place on Tuesday night at Robinson Rancheria Casino's parking lot, according to Sara Schramm of Lake County Animal Care and Control. It appeared to be accidental.


A man who was visiting the county with his family from out of state had the puppy tied to his bumper, said Schramm.


The man apparently was diverted between his children and talking on his cell phone, and didn't notice that the puppy wasn't in the car after the back hatch of his van was closed by another adult in the group, according to Schramm and eyewitness Marcia Porter.


Schramm said an off-duty Animal Care and Control officer happened to be in the area and saw the man take off with the puppy still tied to the vehicle.


The off-duty officer couldn't get to his vehicle in time to try to stop the man, said Schramm.


Meanwhile, Porter took off in pursuit of the man to stop him.


She said by the time she got out of the parking lot and onto the highway the man, who was very upset, had already pulled over and picked up the pup, who she estimated was drug less than a quarter-mile. Porter went with him to Wasson Veterinary Clinic in Lakeport, where she said she takes her own animals.


Animal Care and Control officials were searching for information on the incident Thursday, trying to identify the owner, when they found the dog was at Wasson Memorial.


Wasson Memorial confirmed Thursday that the puppy was being cared for there.


The puppy had abrasions that, in some areas, wore his skin down to the bone, but Wasson representatives said the pup otherwise was actually doing fine.


Schramm said the incident appeared accidental. However, she added, “We're investigating it internally.”


An investigation could take a few weeks to complete, Schramm said.


Porter said she and a friend are donating $200 to help the family with vet bills, which are reportedly several hundred dollars.


She asked community members to donate to Wasson to help the family, which she didn't feel could afford to pay the high bills.


The puppy's injury is a reminder, Animal Care and Control officials said, of the importance of paying special attention when traveling with pets.


With better weather on the way, more people will be taking pets for rides in cars. Officials caution pet owners to secure their pets properly in vehicles and make arrangements to ensure animals aren't left in hot cars or other potentially dangerous conditions, such as being secured to the outside of a vehicle.


E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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