Case Details

Dog dragged behind ATV
Lacy, WA (US)

Date: Aug 24, 2005
Local Map: available
Disposition: Convicted

Abuser/Suspect: William E. Murphy

Case Updates: 2 update(s) available

Case ID: 5455
Classification: Vehicular
Animal: dog (non pit-bull)
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Drugs or alcohol involved
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A black Labrador had his paws scraped to the bones after his owner allegedly dragged the dog behind an all-terrain vehicle on Aug 24. Aged between one and two, sweet-natured Bear is nursing some pretty painful injuries.

Officers were able to telephone the house, where Murphy's mother answered. Murphy's mother came outside to ask what was going on, said she wasn't feeling well and walked back inside the house, Watkins said.

Officers were preparing to make a warrant request when Murphy walked out and gave himself up. He was arrested at about 6:50 p.m., according to the police report.

The dog was taken to Mountain View Veterinary Hospital in Olympia for injuries to its paws and legs. The dog will be turned over to Animal Services, Watkins said.

"There was a moderate amount of blood on the road" where the dog had been dragged, Watkins said. "We were appalled by it."

"The bone is exposed on the nails, that's just on the grinding," said veterinarian Dr. Rhonda. Snyder.

The dog's owner is accused of purposefully dragging the dog along a Thurston County road. Police said Bear was pulled so hard that he left a blood trail. The alleged dragging didn't stop until a neighbor flagged the man down. Witnesses said he threatened to shoot the woman for interfering.

Murphy was booked for felony harassment for threatening to kill someone and referred for animal cruelty. He could face a prison sentence of up to five years.

Murphy did not give any statements for either charge, Watkins said. Intoxicants were detected on Murphy's breath at the time of arrest, according to the police report.

He was held for the preliminary appearance on Aug 25.

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Case Updates

A Thurston County man who dragged his Labrador retriever behind a quad-runner was sentenced Thursday to nearly two years' imprisonment.

A prosecutor described William E. Murphy Jr.'s behavior as the "antithesis of humanity" during a hearing before Judge Chris Wickham.

A Superior Court jury convicted Murphy, 43, of first-degree animal cruelty and felony harassment this month. The second charge stemmed from threats he'd made to a neighbor who witnessed him dragging the dog, named Bear, down the 3900 block of Baker Ames Road last summer.

"The vulnerability of this animal, the vulnerability of all animals that we take into our homes, is something that this court has to consider," Wickham said before following the prosecutor's recommendation for a maximum sentence. "How we treat the most vulnerable speaks to the level of our civilization."

Murphy tied up the dog because it had wandered into the yard of a neighbor and relative.

As Murphy pulled it behind the quad-runner, the dog couldn't keep up and wound up being dragged several times. The neighbor also saw Murphy beat the dog with its leash, court documents say.

The dog's paws were worn to the bone. A deputy noted blood trails, according to court documents and law enforcement.

Witnesses were stunned by Murphy's violent behavior and showed "palpable fear," Senior Deputy Prosecutor Dave Bruneau said. Murphy threatened a neighbor who confronted him about how he was treating the animal.

Murphy hasn't had a felony conviction since the mid-1980s. He has had four drunken-driving convictions in the past decade, court documents say.

Murphy's attorney, Mike Nagle, said he thinks his client has an alcohol problem. He asked the judge to consider sentencing Murphy to a year in jail with time in a chemical dependency program.

"I believe he would never intentionally hurt the animal," Nagle said. "This is not something he would have done if he was thinking straight."

Murphy, whose hands were cuffed, apologized for his treatment of the animal.

"I did make a mistake. I did not do this on purpose. I regret it. I feel bad about it," he said. "And that's all I've got."

Bear has recovered while under the care of Thurston County Animal Services, Director Susanne Beauregard said.

"He's just exuberant, a happy Lab. He loves people. What kills me is that he's such a forgiving, stoic dog," she said.

Wickham also ordered Murphy to pay $4,495 to Animal Services to cover the expenses of Bear's housing and veterinary care.
Source: The Olympian - June 16, 2006
Update posted on Jun 16, 2006 - 11:10AM 
A jury convicted a Thurston County man of animal cruelty on Friday for dragging his Labrador retriever behind a quad-runner last summer.

William E. Murphy Jr., 43, was convicted in Thurston County Superior Court of first-degree animal cruelty and felony harassment. The second charge stems from a threat Murphy made to his neighbor when she confronted him about how he was treating the dog, court documents say.

He could face a year of imprisonment under state sentencing guidelines.

On Aug. 24, 2005, a neighbor witnessed Murphy riding his small vehicle with the dog, "Bear," in tow in the 3900 block of Baker Ames Road.

The dog couldn't keep up and wound up being dragged several times. The neighbor also saw Murphy beat the dog with its leash, court documents say.

The dog's paws were worn to the bone, prosecutors said. A deputy noted blood trails, court documents say.

Murphy's trial started the same week that another man, Mark D. Mossberger, 20, of Yelm, pleaded not guilty to animal cruelty. Mossberger is suspected of tying a dog to a boat trailer when the animal wouldn't stop barking during a Cinco de Mayo party.

Authorities say he allowed the driver to leave with the animal still tied to the back as punishment. The dog, "Chewie," was dragged for three miles, court documents say.
Source: The Olympian - June 3, 2006
Update posted on Jun 7, 2006 - 12:31PM 

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King5 - Aug 26, 2005 
The Olympian - Aug 26, 2005

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