MADISON COUNTY, AL (WAFF) - A dog that was dragged behind a pickup truck is recovering at an animal hospital, according to the Madison County Sheriff's Department.
Investigators said it happened near the 1400 block of Charity Lane over the weekend. Deputies said they received several calls and photos on Friday about the incident. Callers reported seeing a dog, chained to the back of a truck, being dragged down the road.
Police initially said it was unclear what actually happened, saying it is possible this was a terrible accident. Detectives interviewed witnesses and used the photos submitted to them in their search for the truck driver.
Sergeant Brian Chaffin and a veterinarian confirmed Monday night that the dog involved is not dead, but rather sustained superficial wounds and had no broken bones.
The dog's owner, Janet Hunter, said she has seen the photo of the dog being dragged and said it haunts her dreams.
"It wasn't animal cruelty. It was an honest mistake," she said.
Hunter said they've had the dog for five years, saying, "We love this dog. It is our family dog."
She said the dog was on a leash tied to the pickup, to keep her from running away. "The dog went to sleep under the truck. Normally she would come up wagging her tail, but she didn't," she said.
She said she and her boyfriend got in the car and drove away, and did not see the dog. After driving less than a mile, she said she realized what was happening and pulled over. "Next thing I know, he comes back, the dog is in the front seat of the car, she's bleeding, he carried her in," Hunter recalled.
Veterinarian Connor Sindel said the dog will bounce back completely.
"The owner was distraught because there was a lot of blood, but [the injuries] were not as serious as you may think that they would be," Sindel said.
Sindel said the dog's prognosis looks very good.
While the dog will make a full recovery, the owners worry they may not.
"The investigators told me straight up that he thinks I am lying to him and that he thinks this is an animal cruelty case," said Hunter. "But it is not. I swear on all four of my children's lives and my grandchild. This was an accident."
The sheriff's office said the matter is still under investigation.