ROUND ROCK, Texas (FOX 7 Austin) - A Round Rock man is accused of dragging his dog behind his truck, eventually running him over.
In court documents, a Round Rock police officer says Saturday, he believes Zager Zelaya-Rubio, 28, tied the dog to the bed of his truck. The dog fell out and was dragged for nearly a mile before he was run over and left on the side of the road.
Police arrested Zelaya-Rubio. He faces a cruelty to a non-livestock animals charge. If convicted he could face up to ten years in prison.
Shelter veterinarian, Loren Kempf described the dogs injuries.
"He's pretty much missing all of his paw pads the tops of his feet have been scraped away. The dermis, outer layer is completely gone. There's no toenails anymore, no more nail beds…. The skin was completely gone from his knees, all the way down to the muscle.. A huge, huge abrasion over one of his hips." she said.
Despite his injuries, the dog was up, walking around and eating spray cheese and wagging his tail when FOX 7 visited Wednesday.
"Yeah, that right there is probably the most that he's been active since he's been here. So seeing that makes what you do [as an officer] ." said Officer John Schultz.
Schultz, has visited the dog each day, since learning about the case. The department has affectionately nicknamed him "Champ."
"At the end of the day we think he's a fighter, he's pulling through. And it's just a name that we gave him that just exudes the attitude that he has." he said.
Veterinarians alternatively call the dog Walter, so the Round Rock Police Department will be hosting a social media poll to determine "Champs" permanent name.
This week alone, "Champs" medical case is estimated to cost $5,000 to $6,000. It's a figure that is estimated to at least double as he continues his recovery.