Monroe County Man In Jail On Animal Cruelty Charges

Dog Tortured In Monroe County, Suspect In Jail
Dog Tortured In Monroe County, Suspect In Jail

MONROEVILLE, AL (WSFA) - The puppy dog without a name will survive but his recovery will not be pain free. Dr. John Grider is treating the puppy at his Monroeville clinic.

"He's still hurting. He's on medication now," said Grider.

As terrible as his wounds look today they're nothing compared to what the photographs showed the day after he was dragged.  The animal suffered severe abrasions.

"He'll have scars," said Grider.

Monroe County detectives say 20-year old Maurice Cunningham is responsible. They charged Cunningham with animal cruelty and receiving stolen property, the 3-wheeler Cunningham allegedly used to drag the dog about a half-mile through the Peterman community and later dumped him in Brushy Creek.

An eyewitness account from Betty Rankins.

"I saw the man. He was pulling the dog and coming down the road wide open. He had a rope around his neck and it was obvious the dog couldn't stand up," Rankins said.

Maurice Cunningham is still in the county jail and WSFA 12 News was unable to reach his family to get their side of the story. The motive? Still not clear. Sarah Dyess is the President of the Monroe County Humane Society.

"I can't imagine why he would do this," said Dyess.

When investigators arrived they found the dog on the edge of Brushy Creek and the rope dangling from the bridge.

"Fortunately, he was able to swim out," said Dyess.

There is conflicting information over whether the dog is someone's pet or a stray. We do know the puppy is a Rotweiller mix, 8 months old and still hurting.

"He lost his pads," said Grider.

Dr. Grider guesses the dog has about two months to go before he's completely healed.

Cunningham's bond has been set at more than $100,000 and he could get 10 years in prison if he's convicted on the cruelty charges.

Investigators also charged the suspect with damaging the patrol car he was sitting in after his arrest at the scene. Authorities say he knocked out the back window and caused more than $800 worth of damage.

No decision has been made whether to allow the dog to be adopted out.