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Success! Charges in Dog Dragging Case Upgraded to Felony Cruelty

Success! Charges in Dog Dragging Case Upgraded to Felony Cruelty

The efforts of compassionate Care2 readers have helped changed the course of an animal cruelty prosecution. The man accused of dragging a young pit bull for more than a mile behind his pickup truck in late November now faces a felony rather than a misdemeanor criminal charge.

Deputy Omar Yahya of the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office said Roger Dennis Owens was charged with felony “ill treatment of animals” on December 17, according to Fox Carolina News. Owens had originally been arrested on December 6 and charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty, an offense that carries a maximum penalty of only 90 days in jail and an $800 fine.

“The felony charge comes with a much stiffer penalty if the suspect is convicted,” Yahya said.

In addition, Owens is now charged with two counts of driving under suspension and two counts of being a habitual traffic offender. The felony cruelty charge could bring Owens from six months to five years in prison. If convicted of multiple offenses, he may face significantly more time.

Why the shift from misdemeanor to felony charge? There seems to be only one answer. People like you — many, many people like you — used social media, e-mails, letters and phone calls to call for sterner charges for this harrowing crime. Greenville County heard the outcry, took a closer look and seems to have decided stronger charges were warranted.

Andra Grace: Wagging Her Tail and Recovering

Meanwhile, Andra Grace is recovering nicely. Though she was badly injured, her condition is so much improved that has moved to her new foster home in time for Christmas, according to the Justice for Andra Grace Facebook page.

Want to see how happy and well Andra Grace is now? The Justice for Andra Grace Facebook page has posted this video, as well as many others, so well wishers can keep up with her remarkable recovery. Rescuers were able to recover four of Andra Grace’s puppies as well. They are doing well and will accompany her to their new foster location.

Basket of puppies

Andra Grace's puppies, resting before their trip to their new foster home

A Heartwarming Reunion with Two Special Women

Andra Grace had two special visitors on December 19. Kaye Skinner and Jennefer Bullock, the two women who reported seeing Andra Grace being dragged behind the truck, were reunited with her.

According to the Justice for Andra Grace Facebook page, when Kaye and Jennefer saw the pickup truck go by them in the opposite direction, dragging a helpless dog behind it, they turned around to follow it. After the truck sped away without the dog, they searched the roadway until they found her.

Kaye and Jennefer called police and stayed by Andra Grace for the two hours it took for help to arrive. They covered her battered, bloody form with a jacket while trying to soothe her. It might break your heart a little to know that Kaye and Jennefer say poor Andra Grace was wagging her tail as they did what they could to help her.

Kaye Skinner and Jennefer Bullock are reunited with a much recovered Andra Grace

Andra Grace is now happily settled in her new foster home, where her two foster parents are both veterinarians. She’s getting a lot of loving care and is well on her way to a contented and satisfying life. Likewise, her now-weaned puppies are in foster homes and can look forward to long, happy lives.

Care2 readers, your signatures on our petition helped turn the tide with respect to the crime committed against this gentle and loving dog. Your outrage, coupled with a deluge of phone calls and e-mails to Greenville County officials, appears to have convinced authorities to take a closer look at this case. Now Roger Owens is charged with a felony. The possible punishment he faces for this heinous act of cruelty is considerably increased.

May justice prevail for Andra Grace and for all abused animals.

Related Stories:

In South Carolina, Dragging a Dog Almost to Death is a Misdemeanor

Dragged to Death Behind a Truck: Demand Justice for Buddy

Plea Agreement Reached in Dragging Death of Buddy

Read more: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Photo credit: All photos courtesy Justice for Andra Grace Facebook Page

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3:16AM PDT on Sep 18, 2015

thanks for the article.

4:42AM PDT on Oct 11, 2014

great news, thanks for sharing :)

3:57AM PDT on Jul 24, 2014

Thankyou Kaye and Jennifer - you give me HOPE! Andra Grace's indomitable spirit, once again, highlights the tenacity of pitbulls - which VERY sadly makes them targets as fighting dogs!
A pox on this thug for torturing her! As for S. Carolina - ye gods! What kind of place is that in The Land of the Free!?!
Also great that SOOOOO many marvellous people protested and turned this sentence around. He needs help, too, so that he changes and NEVER commits another crime!

3:53PM PDT on Jun 19, 2014

Kaye and Jennifer you were very brave to follow that bastard who did this horrible crime to Andra Grace thanks. And the people who adopter her theyre Angels too, God Bless all of you.

8:02AM PDT on May 15, 2014

Mike K. That's why we animal lovers ignore the naysayers in the world, we Know what little we do each And every day helps in some small way, making way for such as this, a great Big way! We that Care and love All animals are the ones making change for the betterment of our beloved animals and this beautiful earth we share. Keep on keepin' on: Fighting The Good Fight!

5:32PM PDT on May 4, 2014

At least the charges were upgraded and that is still not punishment enough . The dog will have a good life now .

2:37PM PDT on Apr 29, 2014

Saw this one and was ready to sign it and read more. I am glad that this cute pittie is getting a second chance at life. I get upset when people say bad things about pitbulls and obviously the owner is a prime example of how a pittie will be. Loving caring owners will make this breed lovable where as the man, can make them not or have feelings. Glad to hear that she was saved and doing well :)

8:12AM PDT on Apr 28, 2014

Thank you for the great news :)

5:26PM PDT on Mar 22, 2014

Thank you for the great news!

4:03PM PDT on Mar 12, 2014

whoever abuses or hurts an animal.....the same should be done to them as punishment......these idiots who hurt animals would not do it again....

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