Local News

Questions Loom In Dog-Dragging Case

Posted August 22, 2006 3:36 a.m. EDT

— Wake County Animal Control investigators said Monday that they have located the owner of a dog that was dragged behind a sport utility vehicle for more than two miles and left to die.

But the owner told authorities that he was the former owner and had given away the dog, now called Buddy, about six months ago.

Buddy is recovering from his injuries at Fuquay Veterinary Hospital in Fuquay-Varina, but the questions about who tied him to the SUV's bumper and dragged him have yet to be answered. Witnesses said a woman was driving and that when she finally stopped the vehicle, she unleashed the dog and left him by the road.

"We've heard a lot of different stories," said Shea Cunningham with the veterinary hospital. "We've heard from the mean part, where (witnesses supposedly) sat and watched (the driver), and she just kicked him in the ditch and drove away. But then, we've also heard through other sources that it was a complete accident, that (the dog) was tied to the bumper to keep him secure while they were doing some yard work, and the wife took the car and didn't know."

Jeannie Shook with the Wake County Animal Control said investigators are now trying to track down Buddy's new owners and that any charges are dependent on the circumstances of the case.

"Right now, it's just under investigation," Shook said.

Questions also surround the timing of the investigation itself. The Wake County Sheriff's Office said one of its deputies immediately investigated the case but turned his information over to animal control about a month ago.

But animal control said it only found out about the case on Friday through WRAL.

All this time, the animal hospital has been waiting for an officer or deputy to investigate.

"I think they just kind of pushed it to the side," Cunningham said. "They knew that it was brought here, and we were going to take care of it, and it was just left at that."

As investigators continue to look into the case, Buddy still has another three weeks of recovery before he is well enough to be adopted. Hospital workers believe they have already found him a new owner.