Following a three hour deliberation yesterday, a Carter County jury found Antonio Ray not guilty
of animal cruelty. The defense had presented the argument that Ray did
not realize he was dragging his dog behind his bicycle for
approximately 1/4 mile.
On March 17, Antonio Ray, 37, was
arrested and charged with animal cruelty after he was witnessed
dragging his pit bull from his bicycle through the Ardmore, Oklahoma
city streets. Many witnesses called police, and one took a picture of
the incident using his cell phone. A witness described the horrifying
scene, “[The dog’s] arms were behind it, its chest was on the ground
and there were streaks of blood. And we went back afterwards and
measured it, four-tenths of a mile he dragged this dog. The pads of its
feet were gone and it was laying in a pool of blood." Authorities took
the tortured dog to a nearby animal shelter, but he died before he
could be treated.
Disappointed locals may consider writing a letter to the editor,
expressing appreciation for the prosecution’s efforts on the case,
despite the frustrating jury verdict, and reminding readers of the link
which is well-documented between cruelty to animals and cruelty to
Considering the tragic nature of this case, I found it helpful to revisit a past blog post by my coworker Stephan titled, “When Our Defenses Fail Us.”
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we loathe each time our defenses fail us, in some respects, the raw
emotions that these cases evoke are important reminders. Reminders that
cruel, cowardly acts can and still do occur everywhere. Reminders of
just how much animals desperately need our support to help make our
society one where they receive the respect they so rightly deserve, and
one where those who violate this respect receive the punishment they
Thank you to ALDF supporters for fighting the
good fight, and to everyone who signed petitions and sent letters in
support of this case! We can't let the outcome of this case discourage
us from our work toward creating a better world for animals – one that
acknowledges that animals are living, feeling individuals deserving of
true legal protection. We must continue our fight.