Bell County, TX Animal Cruelty Case
Bell County Attorney's Office, Belton, TX
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Friday, January 10, 2003
TEMPLE -- The owner of a dog that had to be put to sleep after it was dragged behind a car for two miles told authorities Thursday that she didn't realize the animal was being hurt as she drove it to the animal shelter.
A warrant was issued for the arrest of Elizabeth Jane Wood on animal cruelty charges, but Wood is expected to turn herself in.
Bell County Sheriff Dan Smith said during a news conference Wednesday that it was the worst case of animal cruelty he had ever seen.
The dog "was brutally injured" and had a brown extension cord around its neck, he said.
Wood, 74, of Temple went to the sheriff's office on Thursday with a written statement to explain her actions.
Wood said her dog had become so aggressive -- killing a kitten at her residence -- that she decided to take it to the animal shelter on Sunday so another owner could be found.
The dog was too heavy for her to pick up, she said, and resisted when she tried to coax it into her vehicle. She said she then tied the dog to her vehicle and drove slowly to the shelter, about two miles away.
Wood said when she arrived at the shelter, she discovered the dog had suffered injuries. She said she left the dog in front of the animal shelter and asked for help from her daughter, who was unable to find a veterinarian on Sunday.
Wood said her original intention was to return to the animal shelter Monday morning and give officials the American Kennel Club papers she had on the dog to assist them in finding a home for it.
Animal shelter employees found the dog when they reported to work Monday. After examining the extent of the dog's wounds, they decided to put it to sleep.
This petition is in memory of Snow, the six-month-old Akita who died as a result of being dragged behind a vehicle for over two miles.
Whereas animal abuse is a serious offense and must not be tolerated in a civilized society, and whereas the dragging case involving Elizabeth Jane Wood has been referred to by law enforcement agents as "the worst case of animal abuse" seen in Bell County, we the undersigned urge the County to prosecute this case according to the dictates of the law without regard to the age or gender of the suspect.