Man accused of locking puppy in toolbox | Crime
A Harrisburg man was charged with animal cruelty Wednesday after Jonesboro police say he left a puppy in the toolbox of his pickup truck while he shopped.
Around 5 p.m. Officer Michael McCanless was called to the Walmart parking lot, 1815 E. Highland.
When he arrived, he heard a puppy yelping from inside a toolbox at the back of a 2009 Ford F-150 XLT pickup truck.
Witnesses told the officer the puppy had been inside the box for at least 20 minutes.
McCanless said in his initial report the puppy was yelping so loudly, he “assumed that the puppy had either been hurt or had been in (the toolbox) for a while and was in distress.”
The officer climbed into the back of the truck and opened the toolbox.
Inside he found a very small brown pit bull puppy that seemed “very anxious or scared to be in the box.”
He also reported finding several tools that could have fallen on the puppy, as well as several full bottles of motor oil.
As he was removing the puppy, McCanless said the owner of the truck, 20-year-old Robert E. Mays came out of the store with his girlfriend.
Mays told the officer he didn’t intend to harm the puppy or put it in a hazardous environment; but, he said he put the dog in the box so it wouldn’t get stolen, according to the report.
Mays also reportedly said he didn’t understand why “it’s a big deal, cause it’s got air to breathe in there,” adding that the puppy would have been okay “if people would mind their business and not snoop around my truck,” McCanless reported.
Based on the comments, McCanless said he believed Mays “would be unfit to keep custody of the animal” and contacted Animal Control.
He then issued Mays a criminal citation for misdemeanor cruelty to animals with a court date of April 29.