On July 15, Roger Owens of Marietta, South Carolina, was sentenced to more than 10 years behind bars after admitting in court to dragging a dog tied to his pickup truck for about two miles. ABC News reported Circuit Judge Letitia Verdin as saying in court yesterday, just prior to sentencing Owens, that “what he did was one of the cruelest things she had ever seen.”
The legal charges against Owens included a variety of traffic violations and one count of an ill treatment of animals charge. The judge delivered the maximum sentence of five years in jail on the ill treatment charge. The balance of his jail time will be attributed to his traffic citations.
Prosecutors mounting their case against Owens said that he “tied the dog's front legs to the pickup's tailgate in December and sped off, forcing the dog to run on its hind legs on the pavement.” The dog, a one-year-old female pit bull now named Andra Grace by the rescue group that cared for her, according to WSPA, suffered serious injuries from being viciously dragged behind Owens’ truck. Owens’ defense attorney said in court that her client “cares for animals, but was drinking and wasn't thinking straight.”
Andra Grace had just given birth to a litter of puppies before being dragged behind Owens’ white Ford pickup. She was delivered to Upstate Veterinary Specialists in Greenville wrapped in bloody blankets after Owens left her on the side of the road for dead after the December 2013 dragging.
When the pit bull arrived at the vet’s office, Dr. Brandon Adley said the animal was in touch shape. “Her feet, knees and mammaries were raw. Her ribs are clearly visible under her fur; she’s malnourished,” Adley said. The vet added that the dog was very sweet and started walking a few days after being admitted. Following much care and medical treatment, Andra Grace has since been adopted.