Knoxville man arrested on charges of dragging dog behind truck

7:48 PM, Nov 7, 2009   |    comments
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  • (WBIR-Knoxville)--A Knoxville man has been arrested on charges of dragging a small Terrier-mix dog behind a truck in the Middlebrook Pike area Tuesday afternoon.

    Jimmy Lovell, 45, whose nickname is "Dog," was arrested at his home on Pilkay Road and charged with a felony count of aggravated cruelty to animals.

    Knoxville Police said, on Tuesday afternoon around 4:15 p.m., officers responded to a call that a driver was dragging a dog behind a vehicle on Liberty Street, just off Middlebrook Pike in West Knoxville.

    "There was like 15, 20, 30 other people standing out there, just hollering at him, telling him, you're dragging a dog, just running down the street, telling him, stop, and he never would stop," said Ron Hurst, who witnessed the incident.

    He was there with his friends, Robert Patton and Melissa Savage. They say Lovell kept driving, with the dog tied to the hitch of his truck.

    When he finally stopped, they say he yelled at them, grabbed the dog, tossed the dog into his truck, and drove away.

    "It was bad, he had blood all over (her,)" Hurst said of the dog. "It was just laying there in the seat, wasn't even moving, looked like it was dead."

    The dog was later found abandoned along Sutherland Avenue near a business. 

    The arrest warrant described the dog as appearing lifeless, with its tongue hanging limply from its mouth and its skin appearing to be torn in several places. The warrant also indicated there was a trail of blood from Knott Road onto Liberty Street.

    She is now being treated for serious injuries at UT's College of Veterinary Medicine, where she is now called "The Little Brown Dog."

    "Basically, (she has) skin wounds, ligament wounds, joint wounds and bone wounds on all four paws, but she also has a large wound over her sternum or over her breast bone that has been created in a similar manner," Dr. Patricia Sura said. "Some of her bones have been sheared, so to speak, so they're only half the width of what they once were because they've been ground down to that extent."

    Dr. Sura said the dog may have to have skin grafts on all four paws in the next two to three weeks.

    It will likely take another month for those wounds to heal, but she should recover after that.

    Meanwhile, Lovell is set to appear in court on Nov. 13 after he posted a $2,500 bond.

    Police say that's when they will reveal why they believe he dragged the dog.

    Right now, police will only speak in general terms about why cases like these typically happen.

    "They have anger issues, they feel that they're in control over an animal," Knoxville Police Spokesman Darrell DeBusk said. "A lot of times it's done to get back at another individual. If the dog is actually owned by somebody else and they're mad at that individual, then they mistreat the animal to get back at that person."

    If anyone would like to help The Little Brown Dog, you can make donations to:

    The Small Brown Dog Fund
    UTCVM Development Office
    2407 River Drive
    Knoxville, TN   37996-4550

    (865) 974-4379

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