An Oregon man is accused of dragging his dog behind his pickup truck for three miles, ultimately resulting in the dog’s death.
According to KOIN 6, 21-year-old Tommy L. Larson is charged with one count each of first-degree animal abuse and first-degree animal neglect after the April 22 incident.
Larson allegedly tethered his 1-year-old Australian shepherd mix, Dixie, to the back of his Chevy S10 pickup truck and drove at 35 miles per hour for three miles.
Witness David Kauffman told FOX 12 that this was the most horrific sight he had ever seen. Kauffman reportedly drove past Larson, when he noticed the dog dragging behind the truck.
Kauffman tried to catch up with the driver, thinking that he had no idea what was happening.
“I pretty much realized he was doing on purpose,” said Kauffman. “I was trying to get in the center lane, flashing my lights to get their attention, but then I see the passenger put his arm out and he flips me off. As I tried to get around them, they tried to run me off the road.”
The suspect allegedly left Dixie in the road and drove off.
He tended to the suffering canine and called 911, and a sheriff’s deputy was dispatched. According to an affidavit, the officer found large blood streaks and followed them until he found the bleeding dog, whose front paws had worn down so far that they were almost completely gone, past where the nails should have been, reports KOIN 6.
Unable to save the severely injured dog, a veterinarian euthanized Dixie after attempting treatment.
Two days after the incident, deputies spoke with Larson, who claimed that he had been driving with his cousin, with Dixie in the back of his truck. He said that he had secured the dog to his truck earlier with a piece of twine that was “not very strong,” and he admitted noticing that Dixie was missing. When deputies asked him if he checked to make sure that his dog was in the truck before he drove, he was unable to answer.
“People who do stuff like this, they need to be prosecuted to fullest extent, there’s no forgiveness, there should be no leniency with them,” Kauffman told FOX 12.
Sources: FOX 12, KOIN 6
Photo Credit: Lincoln County Sheriff's Office