Puppy tossed from moving truck; suspect faces animal cruelty charges

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

CORNVILLE, Ariz. -- An Arizona man faces animal cruelty charges for allegedly throwing a puppy out the window of a moving truck.

The Yavapai County Sheriff's Office (YCSO) arrested 27-year-old Joseph Kennedy, a resident of Cornville. He faces two felony counts of Cruelty to Animals, along with a charge of Possession of Dangerous Drugs and Paraphernalia.

Last week, witnesses reported seeing someone throw a puppy from a vehicle traveling about 50 miles an hour.

The puppy was taken to a local emergency vet clinic. Vets say the dog suffered significant brain damage as a result of the incident.

MaryAnn Canning took the dog home and named it Hope.  She got the call that YCSO made the arrest Monday night.  "I was really happy, really really happy.  Really relieved that Hope is going to get some justice," she said. 

Following media reports, YCSO received several calls, and Kennedy was identified as a suspect. He was detained by deputies, but according to a report from YCSO, he resisted arrest and had to be handcuffed.

Deputies say a search of Kennedy's property revealed three personal use packages of methamphetamine and associated paraphernalia.

During follow-up on this case, deputies say they learned Kennedy had been in a fight with his apparent girlfriend the day of the incident. Kennedy was said to be "distraught," and while riding with others in a friend's car, he "tossed the dog from the vehicle because he didn't care for the animal," according to YCSO.

At the time, Kennedy's 8-month-old baby was also in the car. Following Kennedy's arrest yesterday, deputies asked him where his son could be found so they could check on his welfare. According to YCSO, Kennedy refused to provide the location. Using other sources, deputies located the child in Cottonwood under the care of a baby sitter. The child was OK. CPS was notified and took custody of the baby.

Canning says Hope is blind in one eye and deaf but that's not slowing the puppy down.  "She's doing so well-- that's the best part of the story as far as I'm concerned," said Canning.

Kennedy was booked at the Camp Verde Detention on the indicated charges and remains in custody on a $17,500 bond.

YCSO Animal Control Officers have monitored the care and follow-up given to the dog, and report she is now doing well in a foster home.