Man charged with dragging dogs tied to vehicle

August 26, 2014
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This male Labrador sustained a gash above the eye and another gash on top of his head after allegedly being dragged behind a vehicle with a rope tied around his neck.
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This female Labrador sustained gashes and had to be resuscitated when it stopped breathing after allegedly being dragged behind a vehicle with a rope tied around its neck. The dog was treated by an unidentified veterinarian.

A Spraggs man faces a preliminary hearing Thursday on charges he tied rope around the necks of two Labrador Retrievers, then tied them to the hitch of his vehicle and dragged them down a road in Wayne Township July 27.

William Wilkinson, 59, of 202 Calico Run Road, was charged by Southwest Regional police with animal cruelty.

Southwest Regional police Officer John Lingo said in an affidavit he was called to 127 Dewey Avenue in Wayne Township for a report of a man dragging dogs with a rope using his vehicle.

Lingo said the owners at that address did not call police, but was later told by 911 an elderly woman called and she was at a church.

“I went to every church in Spraggs and the last church was beside the Wayne Township building, and I saw two Labrador Retrievers laying on the concrete at the water pump station,” Lingo said.

The officer approached the dogs and noticed a gash above the male dog’s left eye and another gash on top of his head.

“There were cuts all over the male dog and the fur was matted up very badly,” Lingo said.

The rope was still around the dog’s neck, he said.

The female dog had a gash on top of her head and the rope was around her neck, too, he said.

Lingo said he then interviewed Wilkinson, owner of the dogs, who told Lingo the dogs got out of his yard while he was at the doctors. He said he got in his vehicle to try to find them and when he did, he could not find anyone to help him.

“So, he tied a big piece of rope around each of the dogs and tied it to the hitch of his vehicle and pulled them,” Lingo said. Wilkinson told the officer he stopped the vehicle and had to give the female dog mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and said he was traveling only 2 mph.

Lingo then said he talked to a witness who saw the vehicle dragging the dogs down the road by a rope. The witness said he ran to stop the vehicle and noticed the smaller dog was not breathing.

The witness said the rope was so tight around their necks that he ran to his truck to get a knife to cut the rope, Lingo reported.

The man said he couldn’t even get his fingers under the rope to get it loose. According to Lingo, the witness said Wilkinson started resusitated the dog because the dog was not breathing. Once the dog stated breathing again, Wilkinson said he was going to take the dogs home.

Lingo said the witness told Wilkinson “they are not going anywhere until the police get here.”

Lingo asked Wilkinson why he would drag dogs down the road with a vehicle with around their necks.

Wilkinson told Lingo it was an accident. “He said he did not know the knot on the rope strangled the dog,” Lingo said.

The dogs were taken to an unidentified veterinarian for treatment.

Jon Stevens was the Observer-Reporter’s Greene County bureau chief. During his 41 years with the O-R, he covered county government, courts and politics, and won statewide and regional writing awards.

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