The law caught up with a South Carolina man in a big way after he was found guilty of dragging a dog behind his truck for two miles.
Roger Dennis Owens of Greenville was sentenced to five years in prison for animal cruelty and then another five and a half years for traffic offenses. The auto mechanic tied a one-year-old pit bull mix to an open truck bed on November 29 and proceeded to drag her along the road as he drove off, reports USA Today. When the canine ran to keep up with the vehicle, Owens increased his speed, says Assistant Solicitor Julie Anders.
Two witnesses followed the truck and were able to force Owens to stop driving, according to reports. The dog, who has been named Andra Grace, was found abandoned and bleeding. She was transported to a veterinary clinic with her bones and tendons exposed, says Cynthia Sarachino, who is an animal rescue volunteer.
“She was and is an innocent, good and gentle creature that did not deserve this heinous act,” Sarachino said.
Dr. Brandon Adley, who took care of Andra Grace, says she was able to walk again just days after the incident and that she has four to six weeks of recovery time ahead of her, reports WSPA. The dog has since been adopted.
Public defender Elizabeth Powers Price said her client is an animal lover who wouldn’t have ordinarily committed a crime like this, but who was not in his “right mind” because he has a “drinking problem” and was abusing alcohol on the day of this incident.
Price told the judge that Owens showed remorse when he discovered what he had done.
But Circuit Judge Letitia Verdin didn’t take pity on the man and sentenced him to the state’s maximum penalty for animal cruelty.
“This is one of the cruelest things that I’ve seen since I’ve been on the bench,” Verdin said. “About the best defense you can put up about what you did on that day was that you were driving drunk. It’s just horrible.”