Officials charged a man with animal cruelty for dragging a dog to death behind a truck – even though he “appeared to be completely unaware” of the situation, according to the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office.
It appears the driver learned the dog was in tow only after a deputy approached him at a gas pump at the QT convenience store on Fairview Church Road, according to a sheriff’s office press release. A witness flagged down the deputy about 10:30 p.m. Friday, the release said.
The driver “became emotional and explained his friend must have secured the dog on the chain behind his truck while they were working at another location, but the friend didn’t inform the driver of what he had done,” Lt. Kevin Bobo wrote in the release.
The release said the dog was clearly deceased by that time.
The driver, who was not identified, did not appear to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the release said.
An animal control officer went to the man’s home and found three other dogs that “were being properly cared for,” the release said.
The incident drew much attention on social media, where witnesses posted photos of a deputy confronting the driver and graphic images of the dog.
“Both Environmental Enforcement and my agency are well aware of the numerous social media posts circulating about this incident, and how upsetting some of pictures from the scene are,” Bobo wrote in the press release. “While empathizing with those citizens that are emotional, we still have to make decisions based on all the facts of the incident and the applicable law.”
Officials said Environmental Enforcement plans to look into the possibility of additional charges.