Driver not charged after puppy dragged behind vehicle

LANCASTER COUNTY, S.C. — Officials said a woman will not be charged after dragging a puppy behind her vehicle in Lancaster County earlier this month.

Deputies were called to Great Falls Highway and Airport Road in Lancaster around 6 p.m. on May 5 after receiving reports of a puppy being dragged behind a vehicle.

When deputies got there, they said they found a 7-month-old chocolate pit bull tied to the back of a vehicle with serious injuries.

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According to the driver, the puppy was a family pet. She said a storm was approaching and her 11-year-old child took the puppy from the backyard where it's normally kept and tethered it to the hitch on the back of the vehicle without telling her.

The woman said she received a phone call that a relative was involved in a crash and she jumped in her vehicle and drove off, not knowing the animal was tied to the back.

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The woman said it wasn't until she was flagged down by other drivers on her way to the crash scene that she realized the puppy was tied to the back of her vehicle.

According to deputies, the woman was given a lie detector test and passed, so they decided not to move forward with any charges.

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“We do in proper cases make animal cruelty charges,” said Sheriff Barry Faile. “Unfortunately, in this case, a unique chain of events led to the terrible injuries this dog received. The driver of the vehicle was very upset from the moment we encountered her at the scene. Through our investigation, we confirmed she did not know the dog was tied to the back of her vehicle. This was a terrible accident, and charges are not appropriate.”

The puppy is no longer in the family's care and was sent to an out-of-state animal rescue.