STPSO: Dog dragged behind truck was accident, man still charged
SLIDELL – A man has been arrested after pictures posted to social media allegedly showed that the man dragged his dog to death behind a truck.
The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Office reports that 50-year-old Willis Brailey turned himself in to police in order to give his side of the story.
Brailey told investigators that he took his two dogs for a ride, which he does often, and put them on a leash inside the bed of his pickup truck. One of the dogs jumped out of the truck while Brailey was driving down Highway 190 in Slidell. Brailey was flagged down by several people telling him to pull over at a nearby gas station.
According to the sheriff's office, Brailey discovered his dog was dead, however bystanders accused him of murdering his dog. Brailey told investigators that the scene got intense, causing him to leave the scene and his dog.
Investigators say Brailey went home and called Slidell Animal Control to report the incident and to have his dog picked up. However, the agency was closed as it was a weekend, so he left a message.
The sheriff's office says that Brailey told them that he was physically unable to pick up his dog when investigators asked why he did not go back to the scene.
Investigators say they were able to confirm Brailey's version of events after speaking with several witnesses. Although the death of the his dog was an accident, Brailey was charged for neglectfully placing the dog in the pickup truck bed.
He was charged with one count of simple cruelty to animals.
The sheriff office notes it is not against the law to place an animal in the back of a truck, however the safety of an animal can be considered a criminal matter if an incident were to occur.
The dog was sent to the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine for a necropsy to determine the cause of death to conclude the investigation. The sheriff's office says results from the necropsy are expected to be released in the coming weeks.
The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff says he hopes this incident brings awareness to the dangers of placing an animal in the bed of a truck.