NOBLESVILLE, Ind. – A man faces animal cruelty charges after police say he injured a dog, named Harlow, prompting surgeries and a treatment cost of more than $9,000.
According to the Noblesville Police Department, officers were called to Village Pantry at 710 Westfield Rd. around 12:40 p.m. on April 3.
According to court documents, two witnesses told police they saw a man punch Harlow, pull her out of the truck, kick and stomp her, throw her into the bed of the truck and show a knife.
By the time police arrived, the man, later identified as 62-year-old Theodore Harris Jr., and dog were gone. Police received information that Harris and the dog were at All-Star Veterinary Clinic in Westfield.
According to court documents, Harris denied being at the Village Pantry and assaulting Harlow. He did admit to securing Harlow to a rope leash in the open bed of the pick up truck and inadvertently dragging her for an unknown amount of time.
Police launched a criminal investigation into the case after speaking with additional witnesses learning about the animal’s injuries.
"She was in pretty critical condition when she arrived," Dr. Ashley Dudley, an associate veterinarian at All-Star Veterinary Clinic, said.
Dudley said Harlow had mainly exterior injuries, but wounds were on about 70 percent of her body. She said Harlow has had two surgeries so far.
"It's truly horrific what she's endured and miraculous that she survived it," Rebecca Stevens, the president and CEO of the Humane Society for Hamilton County said.
Stevens said they're already working with a deputy to look at the ordinances in Hamilton County, including addressing animal cruelty.
"This is one of the worst unfortunately but we see cases animal cruelty and neglect all the time. They're reported on a regular basis and it happens in Hamilton County, it happens everywhere," Stevens said.
After reviewing the case, the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office decided to file criminal charges against Harris, who was arrested on April 29. He was taken to the Hamilton County Jail on a felony animal cruelty charge and a misdemeanor animal cruelty charge.
Meanwhile, Harlow continues recovering. Police said animal care costs are in excess of $9,000.
"She is a strong willed little girl, I will say that much Dudley said. When she presented she showed no ounce of pain which was quite remarkable," Dudley said.
She's still showing just how remarkable she is, too. Dudley expects her to make a full recovery.