Updated: Dog in Back of Moving Truck Dies, Driver Charged with Misdemeanor

Cartersville police arrested a Savannah man for alleged animal cruelty. He has been released on bond and will not face additional charges.

Updated Tuesday, 1:30 p.m.

A witnesses spotted Mason pulling at the dog, Scottie, who was unresponsive and tangled in a lawn chair in the back of a moving truck, according to the incident report, which is attached.

The passerby said Mason was "yanking" on Scottie's leg and he was so shocked, he physically stopped Mason "from pulling the dog's paw off."

Updated Tuesday, 12 p.m.

Police will not file new charges against Mason in connection with the dog's death, Camp said.

"For the charge of animal cruelty as a felony, there would have to have been malicious intent on his part to purposely hurt the dog," he added. "As there was no malicious intent, the misdemeanor charge will stand."

Updated Tuesday, 9 a.m.

The dog left Monday in the back of a U-haul truck died overnight, Camp said this morning.

"I am not sure at this time how this will affect Mr. Mason’s charges," but authorities are investigating upgrading the misdemeanor animal cruelty charge, Camp added.

Mason has been released on bond, Sgt. Jonathan Rogers said.

Original Report

this morning arrested a Savannah man whose dog was later treated for exhaustion and low glucose levels.

Authorities responded to after they received a complaint the man was driving a U-haul through Cartersville with his Cocker Spaniel-mix in the back of the moving truck, according to a news release.

When police arrived, the dog was lying next to the truck in the parking lot in apparent physical distress and a concerned citizen was pouring water on the dog to help cool it down.

Jerry Mason, 50, of Savannah, was arrested and charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty. He was traveling from Savannah to Kentucky, he told police.

Police say Mason said the dog had been riding with him in the cab of the truck but became unruly. East of Atlanta, Mason put the dog into the box portion of the truck, which authorities say was completely packed with moving boxes, loose furniture, a lawnmower and other items. 

Mason said the pooch had only been in the back of the truck for an hour and he "did not think an hour was a long period of time to keep the dog in the back of the truck," according to the release.

An animal control officer took the dog to a nearby veterinarian for treatment of a possible heat stroke.  

"We cannot stress enough the importance of not keeping animals locked in vehicles where there is no circulation," Chief Tommy Culpepper said. "Animals simply cannot tolerate the amount of heat that an enclosed area generates in this summer weather. 

"An animal can be in distress within minutes due to the high temperatures we have been experiencing."

This afternoon, the dog was still in care of the veterinarian.

Fran August 08, 2012 at 04:38 PM
Did this wad of crap ever even think about getting a crate for this precious dog to ride in the truck with him? I am also so sick of reading about people who are just plain mean and have no regard for anything other than themselves. I am truly afraid for this world.
Pat Farrar August 09, 2012 at 07:45 PM
Putting the man in the back of the truck would not be nearly as bad. Humans can cooll their overheated bodies by sweating. Dogs don't sweat, only pant to cool down. . They are much more suceptible to heatstroke than humans.
Susan Scarlett August 09, 2012 at 08:20 PM
lock him in a sweat box for an hour, and what he feels will only be a portion of what that poor dog felt.
joe October 30, 2012 at 11:35 PM
I think it is bad that everyone starts putting this man down. But let's look at the situation. He seems that he was moving and he started with the dog up front out of a "crate". Maybe the dog started to become a hazard to drive. What if the dog caused Mr. Mason to wreck. Maybe he just did what any one else would have done. Yes it is sad that scootie died but what if he died from stress and a broken heart because he was separated from his owner.
joe October 30, 2012 at 11:41 PM
Raccoon hunters lock their dogs up in dog boxes all the time for long periods of time. Which I think it is horrible. But I haven't seen or heard of time of one dieing.


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