SULLIVAN COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL)- The Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help in finding the people responsible for seriously harming a dog by dragging it behind a vehicle.
According to a release from the sheriff’s office, the dog was dragged behind what appears to be a white four-door sedan in the parking lot of Gospel Mission Church along Lone Star Road in Kingsport.
The release says video was captured by surveillance cameras at the church on January 28.
The dog was found the next night by church members and taken to Andes-Straley Veterinary Hospital in Kingsport for treatment.
Associate veterinarian, Dr. Leslie Brown, told News Channel 11’s Pheben Kassahun that “Church” is on three to four month path to recovery.
“I’ve never seen anything like this in my career. This is the first. I’ve seen a lot of abuse cases,” Dr. Leslie Brown explained.
The surveillance video shows two suspects dragging “Church”, behind what detectives said is a white, 2011 Toyota Corolla.
Sullivan County Sheriff Jeff Cassidy said, “It’s very, very appalling, and this animal went through a lot of surgery, and he’s still got a long way to go.”
The pup has undergone extensive reconstructive surgery.
“Remarkably, he was in a good state, considering what he had been through. He was very quiet and in shock, but he was alert which was amazing,” Dr. Brown said.
“He still has a long way to recovery with- into his paws, and his chest area has a lot of road rash from being dragged,” Sheriff Cassidy added.
The black German Sheppard mix is about 4 to 5 years old, according to Dr. Brown. She said the hospital is working on open-wound management.
“We know these wounds are contaminated so we went ahead and did two antibiotics right away. Mostly keeping the wounds moist. Believe it or not, we use honey in cases like this,” Dr. Brown explained.
Dr. Brown said the hospital has received numerous calls about Church’s well-being. The veterinarians also said they are accepting donations for Church at the hospital located at 3407 Memorial Blvd, Kingsport, TN 37664. The hospital’s phone number is (423) 378-4443.
The sheriff said Sullivan County prosecutes these types of cases to the fullest extent.
Sheriff Cassidy said, “Anybody responsible for this, you can turn yourself in. It’ll be a whole lot easier because we will find you.”
The sheriff’s office said in the release that there were at least two people in the car at the time the dog was dragged.
He said the suspects will be charged with aggravated animal cruelty charge, a Class E felony. The suspects could face anywhere from one to six years in prison.
Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff’s office at 423-279-7330.