Marietta Dog Dragging Suspect May Face Upgraded Charge - WSPA.com

Marietta Dog Dragging Suspect May Face Upgraded Charge

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Marietta man ticketed for animal cruelty in dog dragged case. Marietta man ticketed for animal cruelty in dog dragged case.
The rescue group caring for Andra Grace is hoping to reunite the dog with her puppies. Andra Grace had a litter six weeks ago. The rescue group caring for Andra Grace is hoping to reunite the dog with her puppies. Andra Grace had a litter six weeks ago.
GREENVILLE COUNTY, S.C. -

Greenville County Animal Control issued a summons for Roger Owens of Marietta in the case of a dog dragged behind a truck and left for dead.

The animal cruelty summons means Owens will go to magistrate court for trial on Dec. 20. The maximum penalty Owens may face is a $1,100 fine and/or 30 days in jail.

Greenville County Animal Control officers say the incident with the dog happened in Marietta near the intersection of Geer Highway and Wildwood Road.

They say they took a call from someone saying they saw the dog being dragged behind an older white Ford farm truck in that area.

The rescue group funding Andra Grace's medical care said they're stunned.

"To be blunt, I think it's asinine. I think it's ridiculous. I think it's foolish," said Cynthia Saracino, a volunteer for Special Needs Animal Rescue & Rehabilitation, also known as SNARR.

County leaders say Animal Control did the best it could under state law.

"Well I think the county is at the maximum of what it's allowed to do under state law. The county's not authorized to put somebody in jail for more than 30 days," said Greenville County Council member Butch Kirven.

Meantime, the rescue group caring for Andra Grace is hoping to reunite the dog with her puppies. Andra Grace had a litter six weeks ago.

When Saracino saw the pit bull back up on her feet at the vet's office, she said she was on a mission.

"We all believe that she was walking down the hall with a purpose. And we think that purpose was to find her babies. As injured as she was, she was still on a mission," said Saracino.

The rescue group is tracking the puppies down through tips.

But Andra Grace's injuries may make their reunion impossible.

"We may determine that it's too stressful for her to do that. Right now, she can't care for her puppies. Her mammary glands are so inflamed and infected from her trauma that she can't nurse them," said Saracino.

In Greenville County, there is nothing in the law that says a person convicted of animal cruelty can't get animals again. Right now, Anderson County is considering a stricter ordinance aimed at puppy mills. The plan would require breeders to get a license. Someone convicted of animal cruelty couldn't get a license within 5 years.

We've also learned Solicitor Walt Wilkins is working with the Greenville County Sheriff's Office to decide whether it might be appropriate to upgrade the misdemeanor animal cruelty charge to a felony. The decision will be based on evidence found during the investigation. They hope to have a decision by next week.

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