Driver's ex-wife charged in case of puppy dragged behind truck on I-55


by staff

Posted on December 14, 2012 at 7:28 AM

Updated Friday, Dec 14 at 6:41 PM

ST. LOUIS—Authorities say they have charged a person who tied a puppy to a truck before it was dragged along Interstate 55 last month.


Benetta Johnson, 41, was charged Friday with animal abuse.

Police say the driver of the truck, Victor Washington, did not see the pit bull puppy, named Trooper, leashed to the back of his truck before he left for work on Nov. 20.

Washington told police he gave the dog to the daughter of Johnson, his ex-wife. Police believe Johnson had her 13-year-old son return the dog. The boy tied the dog to the truck.

Johnson was arrested Wednesday.

The Humane Society on Friday said video surveillance captured the boy tying Trooper to the truck.

“Since the day of the incident, HSMO’s animal cruelty investigators have worked diligently developing and following leads, conducting follow-up interviews, and canvassing neighborhoods in a determined effort to gather and provide the evidence needed to prosecute this case,” said Mike Perkins, director of Humane Society of Missouri’s Animal Cruelty Task Force.

Now 6 months old, Trooper’s extensive injuries continue to respond to treatment, according to Dr. Mark Wright, HSMO’s director of shelter medicine. 

“We continue to be very pleased with his progress, but also realize Trooper has at least four to six weeks more of rehabilitation during which we will be on the watch for possible setbacks, including the risk of infection.” 

Wright said while Trooper showing off more of his puppy personality, his care staff is carefully balancing his play time with the need for rest. 

Veterinarians said the puppy could be ready for adoption by the end of next month.