Owner of dog placed in back of U-Haul truck: 'I let him down' - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Owner of dog placed in back of U-Haul truck: 'I let him down'

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CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -

A man accused of animal cruelty said he didn't mean to hurt his beloved cocker spaniel. Jerry Mason's dog, Scotty, died after being placed in the back of a moving truck.

"He depended on me. I mean I'm supposed to be there for him," said Mason. "Yeah I let him down."

FOX 5 talked to the 51-year-old at a Cartersville motel hours after he bailed out of jail on a misdemeanor animal cruelty charge. Mason says he placed Scotty in the back of a U-Haul after the dog became unruly when he got out of a harness in the cab.

"That was something I'd never done before. I've never mistreated that dog," said Mason.  

Mason later pulled into a BP gas station, where John Artemis helped remove the near lifeless dog from the back of the truck, dousing it with water to revive him.

Despite the Artemis' efforts, Scotty died early Tuesday morning.

Investigators have charged Mason with misdemeanor animal cruelty.

Cartersville police say they asked the magistrate to increase the charge to a felony. However, the misdemeanor charge stood because under Georgia law, a felony requires it be shown that someone had malicious intent to hurt an animal.

"We knew he knew he did it but we could not show beyond a reasonable doubt that he did it maliciously," Lt. Mark Camp of the Cartersville Police Department.

"I had no intent of hurting that dog," said Mason.

Anna Ware with Atlanta's Humane Society says she hope the case reminds others of the dangers for pets.

"When it's 90 degrees outside, the interior of a car will reach 160 degrees in less than 10 minutes," said Ware.

It's unclear how hot it got inside the U-Haul, but Jerry Mason says he's prepared for the consequences.

"If I had it to do over again, it would be different," said Mason.

Mason says he'll be back in Cartersville to attend court in the next month or two. He says he's having Scotty cremated and will take his remains to his new home in Kentucky.

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