A Harlan man is facing a charge of torture of a dog or cat after allegedly neglecting to seek medical treatment for a badly injured dog.
Ryan K. Harris, 39, was arrested by Harlan City Police Sgt. Jeff Owens on Saturday.
According to Owens, police received a tip from a citizen who reported seeing a dog limping on a badly injured leg. Police went to the residence and saw the dog outside in the yard.
Owens and Animal Control Officer Willie Galloway went to the residence.
“The owner of the home told us it was a community dog and it did not belong to him,” Owens said. “We took the dog in order to get it some food, and realized the bone was exposed from the thigh down. This was a severely injured dog.”
Owens said he and Officer Derrick Noe went back to the residence.
“The neighbors told us the dog belonged at the residence,” Owens said.
Owens said they discovered through investigation the dog belonged to Harris, who resides on the property.
Owens placed Harris under arrest on a probation violation warrant on Saturday. Further investigation led to a warrant for torture of a dog or cat. The warrant was served on Harris at the Harlan County Detention Center on Monday.
“He let somebody cut the fur off the dog’s leg because it was matted,” Owens explained.
Owens said once the fur was cut off, a sore was evident on the dog’s left hind leg.
“Harris refused to get this dog medical care for months,” Owens said. “Its leg rotted to the bone. Once we realized he is the owner of the dog and he refused to get the dog medical care, I obtained a warrant.”
The warrant states Harris prolonged the dog’s pain by refusing to seek medical care for the dog.
Owens said it is likely the dog will lose the leg.
Animal Control Officer Duncan Caldwell said the dog was sent to the Corbin Animal Clinic on Monday for evaluation. The dog was then sent to Richmond for advanced care.
Harris was charged with torture of a dog or cat with serious physical injury. He was lodged in the Harlan County Detention Center on two full cash bonds totaling $8,000.
Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-909-4132 or on Twitter @joe_hde