Man Charged After Allegedly Dragging Dog With SUV

PALM BAY, Fla. (AP) — A Florida man was charged with animal cruelty Wednesday after he allegedly dragged a pit bull on a leash with his SUV, authorities said. He told investigators he didn’t realize the dog was still attached after putting his kids in the vehicle.

Police in Palm Bay, about 5 miles south of Melbourne, were dispatched to the scene at about 7:30 a.m.

An officer located the vehicle in a McDonald’s parking lot and found the dog with extensive injuries to all four of its paws and side from being dragged. The officer also observed a large amount of blood in the back of the SUV.

Chanel Byrd was tending to the grey colored pit bull and said she and her husband, Christopher Byrd, were the owners of the dog, police said.

Christopher Byrd told detectives he had put the handle of the leash onto the ball of the vehicle’s trailer hitch so he could put his kids inside the SUV. He said he then forgot about the dog but stopped as soon as another driver flagged him down and he realized what had occurred.

According to the arrest affidavit, Christopher Byrd told investigators he had accelerated up to 35 miles per hour, not knowing the dog was attached to the SUV.

Animal Control officials have taken possession of the dog. It appears he will survive.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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