Valley City dog in animal hospital after reported abuse

VALLEY CITY, N.D. (Valley News Live) - A Valley City dog sits in limbo at a vet clinic after a concerned onlooker reported abuse to the police. Pictures show large scabs on the dog’s belly—which police believe are from the dog being dragged on the ground.

We don't know the dog’s name or her age. But she was found early Saturday evening, apparently abandoned.

Nicole Fearing was visiting her dad from out of town. She posted to Facebook, saying she initially saw the dog being dragged by the owner near Dairy Queen in Valley City. Fearing says she called the police when the dog was left behind.

"It's a good indicator that our community is on the right track, as far as seeing something and saying something," Valley City police chief, Phil Hatcher, said.

The woman who reported it declined an interview. But she says when she found the dog, the collar looked tight, as if the leash never let up from the pull.

The Valley City Veterinary Hospital tells us the dog had been awaiting care there. But staff wouldn't give us any more details or let us see the dog. The vet clinic referred Valley News Live to the police for any questions, as the investigation continues.

Chief Hatcher says the police department contracts with the vet clinic to handle impounded animals.

"We expect the dog to survive," he said.

Hatcher says the police department has very little information so far, and asked the public to contact them if they know anything.

"What we're looking for right now is if anybody out there can better describe the person or the direction they may have gone afterwards," he said.

But some Facebook comments say they've seen the owner around town.

Chief Hatcher says both animal cruelty and abandonment are Class B misdemeanors.

"I think each penalty is up to 30 days in jail and a $1500 fine," he said.

But Hatcher says he could push for a Class A misdemeanor, pending a vet report—or if this turns out to be a second or additional offense for the owner.

Valley City police tell us they want to be as objective as they can until they hear the owner's side of the story.