FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — A man seen dragging a German Shepherd tied to a leash to his pick-up truck was arrested and charged with animal cruelty Wednesday, June 18.
Miguel Lechuga Sanchez, 41, was also charged with DUI and driving with a suspended license in addition to the animal cruelty charge -- all are misdemeanors.
About 4:30 p.m., deputies were dispatched by 911 responders to Ronald Reagan Boulevard near Peachtree Parkway (Ga. 141) and The Collection at Forsyth to a dog being dragged behind a pick-up truck.
A witness who called 911 said a German Shepherd was tied with a leash to a pick-up truck driving on Ronald Reagan Boulevard less than a mile from the Forsyth County Sheriff's South Precinct.
A Forsyth County Sheriff's Office investigator in an unmarked car saw the pick-up truck two minutes after the call was dispatched and stopped the vehicle on Ronald Reagan Boulevard and Majors Road, according to Forsyth County Sheriff's Office news release.
Patrol deputies responded minutes later and determined the dog needed immediate attention from a veterinarian.
The dog had fallen off the truck's bed and the driver did not see the dog.
“There was never any indication that it was malicious,” said Robin Regan, a spokesman for the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office.
It is not illegal to carry dogs in a truck’s bed, but Sanchez’s intoxicated state meant he was negligent of what the dog was doing, Regan said.
A patrol deputy rushed the dog to a local animal hospital where it was treated for injuries to the front paws and bruising around the neck. The dog is in good condition and will remain at the animal hospital while recovering from injuries.
The veterinarian who treated the dog said he's seen lots of cases where dogs fall off the truck bed, but this is the first he's seen who survived.
Sanchez, of Cumming, was arrested, charged and taken to the Forsyth County Detention Center where his bond was set at $4,680.50.
As of June 20, Sanchez was still in jail, but if he does bond on Forsyth County Sheriff charges, he has an U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) hold. This means possible deportation for the Mexican native.