With dead dog left in street, was there a crime?

Posted at 10:23 PM, Jan 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-14 23:38:19-05

MOUNT HEALTHY, Ohio -- If you've been on Facebook this week, maybe you've seen the image: a beagle pup, lying in a pool of its own blood in the street.

Erika Richardson saw the dog -- not the photo, but the dog -- when she was leaving a store last Thursday near Compton Road and Clovernook Avenue.

"Something told me, like, pull over, see what's going on," she said. "And then surprisingly, those two other girls pulled up too, and they knew exactly what happened, and right then and there we called the police."

The other two women said they'd seen the dog thrown from a truck and had its license plate number, Richardson told a 911 operator. They gave the information to Mount Healthy police.

However, Sgt. Nick Michael said there's a question of what crime, if any, occurred.

"There are some challenges, because it appears to be a crime at onset. But we haven't been able to determine that quite yet, because we need to be able to prove that there was intent," Michael said.

Michael said investigators have talked with the truck's owner, but he claims "he hasn't driven in quite some time and he didn't know anything about it." The man did tell police he owns beagles, Michael added.

Something else from the photo caught the attention of Richardson and the police department:

"His leash was wrapped around his neck several times like the dog had been strangled prior to being thrown out the car," Richardson said.

According to Michael, police don't know if the beagle was dead before it left the truck.

"We don't know if it being hit afterwards is what caused its death -- we just don't know at this point," Michael added.

Mount Healthy police are asking anyone who saw what happened to come forward.

And Richardson has a plea of her own: "If you want to get rid of it, Humane Society, they'll take it."

Click here for a list of animal rescue shelters in Greater Cincinnati.