Bear, a loving black Rottweiler, lab mix, was tied to the back of an old pick-up truck by his owner to make sure he didn’t run around anymore. The owner had an elderly man living with him who went to get the bread, forgetting Bear was tied to the back of the truck.
The trip was over a mile to the Dollar General and poor Bear was dragged mercilessly on the pavement the entire way to the store. A trail of blood soaked the hot summer pavement, as people started to notice the poor dog behind dragging along. A call was made to Bartow Police. When the driver arrived at the Dollar General Store, a woman yelled at the driver to admonish him of the dog behind his truck, all bloodied and in agonizing pain. Other witnesses approached him, one asked “is this your dog?” The driver, an older man, showed no shock or remorse, went back into the store to get his bread. As the woman explained to him he needs to attend to Bear, the man stated “she’s [upset] about nothing.” At this point another call to police was made and while waiting for police, one witness helped pick poor Bear’s body up and place him onto the truck bed to get him home. Bones were exposed and blood oozing out of his weak, traumatized body. How could the man not hear Bear’s cries and yelps as he dragged the dog along? No one can fathom this.
Witnesses continued to talk to the driver as he still seemed unshattered by the extremity he caused. The driver was told he could receive free vet care for Bear but he turned it down. He drives off with Bear in the bed. Finally a single police officer arrived and without getting out of the cruiser, explains to one witness he will get another officer to come by and question the witnesses on the incident which looked to be animal cruelty. Well, the witnesses, a good dozen of them waited and waited a good hour and 20 minutes. No other police authority showed up. Witnesses disbanded. Where in God’s name was that second officer? A police incident report was made but with missing pertinent info, such as the owner’s and driver’s names (we figured the police knew these men and therefore tried to protect them). A representative of ARF, an animal rescue organization, drove to the owner’s house to offer free vet care for Bear, only to be shunned away by Kingston Police. No additional reports were made by police but the sheriff enlisted an investigation.
The next day, Bartow sheriff closed the investigation citing the incident a “horrible accident.” PETA came to town, asking the Sheriff to re-open the case so they can do their work, the sheriff refused. Did police question the driver if he was drinking? On medication? Why didn’t they record the owner and driver’s names on the incident report? Witnesses are angry and offered their written account of the incident. They want justice. A petition is created and garners over 22,000 signatures asking for this driver to be held accountable for what he did. An attorney was contacted and made an arrangement to meet with the county DA but that meeting got squelched. The attorney was told the case was “not prosecutable.” Many differ on this. Bear’s justice could have taught the Bartow and Kingston Police to better handle an animal cruelty situation. The driver would have been reprimanded by law and the owner would learn to never tie his beloved pet to the back of a pick-up truck.
People failed Bear. How many more “Bears” will there be? Don’t forget him.