Solicitor weighing options on new charges after injured dog foundPosted: Updated:
The bandages are fresh, but doctors say the wounds are deep and disturbing.
"It's heart-wrenching," Cynthia Saracino said.
She saw a 12-month-old pit bull puppy, and when the dog gave Saracino her paw, the dog stole her heart.
"She just had a gentleness and a kindness in her eyes," Saracino said.
She met the pup when it was wrapped up at the Upstate Veterinary Specialists Hospital in Greenville. She volunteers with a dog rescue group called SNARR, which stands for Special Needs Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation.
"She has some significant soft-tissue injuries mainly on the skin," said Dr. Brandon Adley, associate veterinarian with Upstate Veterinary Specialists.
Investigators with Greenville County Animal Control said a witness saw a driver in an old-model Ford white farm truck drag the dog in the area of Wildwood Road and Geer Highway in Marietta.
Adley said despite the dog's injuries, the puppy is perky.
"She's had one surgery, and she's had a blood transfusion," Adley said.
Members with the group SNARR set up a Facebook page in hopes of tips that could track down anyone involved. Members went to Marietta to hand out fliers, as a way to generate tips.
"A lot of people have donated toward her care," said Courtney Bellew, the director of SNARR Animal Rescue, Northeast Chapter in New York.
Wednesday night rescuers with SNARR contacted FOX Carolina to share new details on Grace's background. Bellew said they had made contact with Grace's original owner, who said she had to give up the dog because she was moving.
The owner said she thought she was placing the dog and her puppies in trusted hands. Bellew said they have been able to track down three of the puppies that were sold, and they are sick but still alive. SNARR is offering a reward to track down the remaining four puppies.
"We like to focus on the dogs that have major medical conditions - abuse cases, dogs with congenital disorders," Bellew said.
And with Saracino's heart right in the puppy's paw, she couldn't help but name her Grace.
"My first daughter is named Grace, and Grace means gift," Saracino said.
And maybe the puppy will be a new gift for a new family.
Bob Mihalic, with Greenville County Governmental Affairs, said a uniform ordinance summons was issued to Roger Owens, of Marietta, for cruelty to animals.
Mihalic said the misdemeanor ordinance has a penalty of up to 30 days in jail and a $1,100 fine, if he is found guilty. He said Owens' next court appearance is set for Dec. 20.
The Greenville County solicitor Walt Wilkins released a statement about the incident on Friday that said:
"After becoming aware of this case we are analyzing the evidence with law enforcement to determine if any other charges are appropriate."
Wilkins also said he believes that South Carolina state law only allows Greenville County Animal Control to charge suspects with misdemeanors similar to the charge that Owens currently faces.
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