Thursday, February 26, 2009

Woman faces animal cruelty charges

Dog was dragged by truck for several blocks to SEAACA shelter.

Prada, a 1-year-old pit bull, suffered serious but non-life threatening injuries when she was dragged behind her owner’s truck, on its way to the SEAACA animal shelter in Downey. Photo courtesy SEAACA

DOWNEY— Animal cruelty charges against a 25-year-old Norwalk woman are being sought by the Southeast Area Animal Control Authority in Downey.

On. Dec. 4, the woman pulled into the SEAACA shelter after dragging her 1-year-old pit bull behind her truck. The dog had either jumped or fallen from the truck bed when its leash became caught in the tailgate.

“She tried hard to balance but to no avail,” said SEAACA Director of Operations Aaron Reyes.

Appearing unaware that someone was following behind her and honking to get her attention, the woman continued dragging the dog on asphalt streets for several blocks. Shocked bystanders unleashed the bloodied, unconscious dog after the truck stopped at the shelter.

The owner of the dog denied knowing that the dog had been dragging behind the truck and said she was bringing it to the shelter to be put to sleep because it suffered from mange.

The dog, who’s name is Prada, is being treated for her injuries. According to Reyes, the dog’s mange is also treatable.

“She is doing well. We are trying to control infection and we are winning that battle,” Reyes said. “She is in great spirits – a real trooper.”

Prada’s former owner now faces felony animal cruelty charges, as well as a local municipal ordinance charge for illegally transporting an animal, and a state vehicle code violation.

“This is a perfect example of what can happen and why you have to be aware when transporting animals,” Reyes said. “Even if you have had success before transporting in the back of your pickup truck – don’t do it. Ideally, put a beach towel on your seat and strap them in or use a carrier.”

Prada will be available for adoption once she is healed from her injuries. Described by Reyes as having a “very sweet disposition and loving people,” SEAACA employees sit with her daily, stroking her head until she falls asleep.

“The ultimate goal is for her to leave here to a loving new home,” Reyes said.