Dog reunited with owner after being drug through a Valley City street

VALLEY CITY, N.D. (Valley News Live)-- A Valley City dog is back home with her owner tonight after spending the week in limbo at a local vet clinic.

A concerned bystander found the dog injured and abandoned on Saturday, and reported the suspected abuse to the police.

Lily is a mixed breed, she's half chihuahua and half terrier. And after a long battle, she's finally home where she belongs, with her owner Jeff Leber.

"I think I have slept five hours in the last week," Leber said. "You know, she sleeps with me every night. she's right there by my side. It feels like a home again."

Leber has had Lily for about five years now. When he came home from work Saturday night, he said she was no where to be found.

Leber said he searched all over for her and when he finally found her at the vet, he said he couldn't believe it.

"I thought she was dead in that one picture.," Leber said. "Her tongue was hanging out and she was bleeding all over. But, thank God she's not."

He said someone he knew and trusted brought the dog for a walk, just like they've done before. But, he claims, this was the first time Lily was treated so harshly.

"Lily can only walk about two blocks, and then she will just stop," Leber said. "So, she must have just drug her."

Leber said he visited Lily every day at the vet, waiting to get her back.
It took longer than he hoped because police said they wanted to make sure they had the right owner.

"We have taken quite a flack for holding onto the dog," Valley Chief Police Phil Hatcher said. "We want to make sure we are doing right by everybody and everything, and unfortunately sometimes that takes time."

Chief Hatcher said they are investigating, but they are confident they have the person responsible for the alleged abuse.

As for Leber, he said he's just glad Lily is home.

Chief Hatcher said both animal cruelty and abandonment are class B mis-demeanors. Whoever committed the abuse could face up to 30 days in jail and a $1500 fine.