Police investigate animal neglect case spanning from Othello to Richland
WEST RICHLAND, Wash. — The West Richland Police Department is handing over an animal neglect case to Othello as more details come to light.
On Monday, police got a call from Paws, Claws and Hooves Veterinary Center. They said two dogs came in with a concerned citizen and a man. The Boston Terriers were seriously injured.
Marissa Rodriguez, Animal Control and Code Enforcement Officers for WRPD responded. She determined that the man, who police said was homeless and living out of his car, allegedly dragged his dogs outside his car in Othello around 1:30 p.m. that day. Officers got a call from concerned bystanders about the incident near Main Street and 14th Avenue.
They stated both nine-year-old dogs, named Alvin and Prince, had their leashes closed inside the passenger-side door. When the man took off, the leash snapped for one dog and it rolled down the road, Rodriguez told KAPP-KVEW. The other stayed attached and was dragged down the road.
The speed limit is 30 mph. The man, who is in his 70s, eventually picked up the dogs and took off in his car. Hours later, he was found near WalMart in Richland. That’s when the citizen, who said they’ve seen the man before with the dogs, told him that he needed to take them into the vet.
Veterinarians started to look at the wounds. Both suffered road rash, one to the point where the skin on its face was peeled off. They also had injuries on its legs and lower body.
“So even if it had been an accident, you still need to have the responsibility to take care of animals and to be seen,” Rodriguez said. “That white one — I’m not sure if it’s going to live or not. But he was definitely in a great deal of pain for 24 hours.”
After Rodriguez responded to the vet’s office, the man was trespassed from there because he “interfered with what was going on.” He was identified but has not been seen since. Rodriguez has been working to put together the case against the man, which she said she’ll be turning over to the Othello Police Department because the incident happened in their area.
She said if it wasn’t for the concerned citizen, no one may have known about this. Rodriguez says this is one of the worst cases of abuse she’s seen.
“They’re all kinda at the same top-level,” she said. “I mean, I’ve seen deceased dogs from their injuries. Starvation, stuff like that. It’s difficult, but this was at the top.”
The man could face neglect charges for failing to provide medical attention.
Donations are being accepted for the dogs at the Paws, Claws, and Hooves Center.