A Florida man faces animal-cruelty charges after he was spotted dragging a French bulldog by the collar behind his pickup truck – and bizarrely claimed the dog would be “OK.”
Lisando Arellano, 45, was seen driving the red Toyota Tacoma in Palm Beach County on Oct. 9 as the poor pup was being violently pulled behind the vehicle for over a half-mile, CBS 12 reported.
A driver who saw the ghastly scene said the white dog was “spinning on its side as its flesh scraped along the roadway,” according to the news outlet.
The witness and another driver honked their horns and flashed their lights to get Arellano’s attention, thinking he was unaware the dog was being dragged.
They finally caught up to him at a red light and rushed over to alert him about what was happening, but he just got out of the vehicle and tossed the injured animal onto the bed of the truck, according to a probable cause statement cited by CBS 12.
“The dog will be OK,” the accused brute told the drivers before driving off with the truck bed still open, according to the report.
Five days later, a sheriff’s deputy and an animal control officer went to Arellano’s home, where they noticed the pickup truck bed covered with what appeared to be blood, the news outlet said.
The dog, named Blanco, was reportedly lying on a bloodied sheet in a room filled with feces and urine. The deputy and animal control officer said Blanco had deep cuts and was whimpering.
A veterinarian said the injuries were consistent with being dragged along a hard surface.
“Blanco’s limbs were trembling and she could only stand for short periods. Blanco’s heart rate and respiratory rates were elevated,” Dr. Sara Chapman told CBS 12.
“Blanco’s top layers of skin were missing in several areas of her body. The worst injuries to Blanco are on her right front and hind limbs,” she said, adding that the dog had not received any treatment after the incident.
Arellano told officials he couldn’t afford to get Blanco medical care, the news outlet said.
He said the dog was “just scratched” and he thought she was fine because she was able to “get up,” the police report said.
“If Blanco was not brought in for treatment of her injuries, her condition would have continued to worsen and her health would have deteriorated due to the risk of Blanco’s infections spreading throughout her body,” Chapman said.
David Walesky, director of the Palm Beach County Animal Care & Control, said that Banco has been recovering well from the horrific incident.
“Ultimately, she could have died from this. We are very thankful that the public brought it to our attention,” he told CBS 12.
“It looks like she’s gonna make a full recovery. She may have some scarring and things like that, but, you know, psychologically, and from a health standpoint,” Walesky said.
“If you’re going to keep an animal in the back of your truck, it needs to be in a secure enclosure, or it needs to be double tethered. That means tied from both sides of the vehicle so that the animal cannot fall out while you’re driving. In this situation, the animal was only tethered on one side,” he added.
Arellano has been jailed on charges of aggravated animal cruelty and cruelty to animals with his bond set at $3,000.
When Blanco makes a complete recovery, she will be put up for adoption, CBS 12 said.
“We ask that anybody that sees animal cruelty out there, call us, call CrimeStoppers to report animal abuse at any time,” Walesky said.