Woman accused of dragging pit bull escapes charges

DOWNEY - An animal rights group is speaking out after the Los Angeles District Attorney declined to file charges against a woman who nearly killed a young pit bull terrier by dragging the dog behind her car.Bryana Wilson, of Norwalk, was accused of placing the dog, now named Bluebell, into the back of a pickup truck before driving to the SEAACA animal shelter in Downey. The dog apparently fell out of the truck and was dragged by its leash for several blocks. Bluebell had lost consciousness by the time it arrived at SEAACA, where Wilson was planning to have the dog put to sleep due to a case of mange. SEAACA officials took custody of Bluebell and Wilson was charged with animal cruelty. "This dog's open sores, red, raw skin and hair loss took months to develop. This painful and itchy condition did not happen overnight," said Lois Newman, president of the Cat and Dog Rescue Association (CDRA) in Los Angeles. "Untreated mange this bad can shut down a dog's organs and kill a dog. It's cheap and easy to treat with over-the-counter medications. This crime alone is enough for a cruelty case to be filed." In addition to the lack of veterinary care, the CDRA said charges should have been filed for nearly dragging the dog to death and transporting an animal illegally in the back of a pickup truck. "These are clear violations of California state law. If these laws are not enforced, what is the point of having these laws on the books?" said Newman. "This is a perfect example of why it is against state law to transport loose or improperly restrained dogs in an open truck bed. It's dangerous for people trying to swerve to avoid a fallen dog, and it's often deadly to the dog." "It wasn't like this dog was having a quality life before the owner took the dog to the animal shelter to be killed," Newman continued. "The owner wasn't exactly on the way to the dog park to play. This owner allowed this dog to get to the point that the dog was suffering and in pain. This owner was taking the young dog to be killed for an easily treated skin problem." SEAACA officials said dozens of people offered to adopt Bluebell, but none of the homes were found suitable. The dog was recently turned over to Karma Rescue, a Santa Monica-based "no-kill" animal shelter. Anyone wishing to adopt Bluebell should call (310) 512-RUFF. In the meantime, the CDRA encouraged animal lovers to protest the lack of criminal charges by writing to Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley (scooley@da.lacounty.gov) and Supervisor Don Knabe (DKnabe@lacbos.org).

********** Published: May 15, 2009 - Volume 8 - Issue 4