No charges have been filed against man accused of dragging dogs with his car
WEST RICHLAND, Wash. – West Richland police say a man accused of dragging two dogs with his car in Othello has retaken custody of one of the dogs because he hasn’t been charged with a crime.
Officer Marissa Rodriguez with WRPD’s Animal Control and Code Enforcement Division said she thoroughly investigated the case before handing her findings to the Othello Police Department – but the case hasn’t gone anywhere since.
Rodriguez indicated that the man should have been charged for animal neglect.
“I gave them a perfect case,” Rodriguez said. “All they had to do was charge.”
Rodriguez said she determined that the dogs’ owner, a homeless man in his 70s, allegedly dragged the dogs with his car near Main Street and 14th Avenue in Othello earlier that day.
She interviewed witnesses who said the dogs were outside the car with the passenger door closed on their leashes when the man took off in his car, Rodriguez said. The man eventually picked up the dogs and was seen with them at the Richland Walmart hours later.
A concerned citizen who’d seen the man with the dogs previously told him to take them to the vet.
The 9-year-old Boston Terriers were brought to Paws, Claws and Hooves Veterinary Center with serious injuries. Rodriguez said she wasn’t sure if one of the dogs was going to make it.
The dog owner and the concerned citizen went to the vet’s office together, but the dog owner was trespassed from there because he “interfered with what was going on,” Rodriguez said.
She described it as one of the worst abuse cases she has dealt with, adding that even if it was an accident, the owner had the responsibility to take care of his pets.
“I did a lot of leg work here. I put a lot into this, and for it to not go anywhere is kind of upsetting.”
Since the incident, one of the dogs was medically cleared; and because no charges had been filed, Rodriguez said it could not be held any longer.
On Wednesday, Othello Police Sgt. Aaron Garza told KAPP-KVEW the case was still under investigation and criminal charges had not been forwarded to the prosecutor’s office. The Adams County Prosecutor’s Office would have the ultimate decision to charge him.
Garza said once the investigation is complete, his department will consider recommending charges.
Meanwhile, the other dog who was severely injured during the incident is now in good spirits, Rodriguez said.
She said she convinced the man to relinquish custody of the dog because of the severity of the injuries. The vet’s office has taken custody of the dog.
“When we picked him up, he wasn’t moving,” Rodriguez said. Now, he’s starting to perk up and move his head around.
The vet’s office will be taking care of them until they are ready for a permanent home.