By Cynthia Hubert
A Sacramento man who dragged his dog, tethered to the back of his pickup truck, down the street and refused to get her care for her injuries, has been convicted of felony animal cruelty.
Phillip "Mohammed" Jackson, 42, was sentenced Friday to one year in county jail and five years of formal probation in the death of his pit bull terrier, named Lovely, said Sacramento County deputy district attorney Hilary Bagley Franzoia.
After an argument with a friend last October, Jackson drove off in his truck, apparently unaware that Lovely, who had been tethered in the bed, had fallen and was being dragged across the asphalt. The dog was severely injured, Bagley Franzoia said, but instead of taking her for treatment or euthanasia he dropped her at a friend's home.
"He told the friend he knew she was dying, but he refused to provide any veterinary care as requested by his friend," the attorney said. Two days later the friend called Sacramento City Animal Care, which took Lovely to the municipal shelter where a veterinarian evaluated her and decided that her injuries and infections were too severe to save her.
Bagley Franzoia, a homicide prosecutor who also takes on felony animal abuse cases, said owners have not only a "moral obligation" to care for their animals but a legal one. The law mandates that pet owners take action to "end needless suffering," she said.
It is legal to carry animals in truck beds if they are tethered, said Bagley Franzoia.
"The bad deed here is Jackson's failure to provide care to end this animals excruciating suffering," she said.