Violence erupts after dog run over
Two men face charges, authorities say
By David MacDougall
The Post and Courier
Friday, October 16, 2009
Bond set for dog owner, driver in stable condition
Photo by Wade Spees
The Post and Courier
Veterinarian Sarah Boyd tends to Dingo on Thursday at the Charleston Animal Society. Dingo's owner said the dog was hit by a car, then attacked with a machete and hammer. The owner and driver both face charges.
After running over a dog on a rural road in McClellanville on Thursday morning, the driver of a pickup truck tried to "put the dog out of its misery" by whacking the animal with a machete and a hammer, authorities said.
The dog's owner heard the dog's plaintive yelping and ran out of his house, grabbed the machete and hammer and started waling away with the hammer, attacking the man who had been attacking his dog.
The driver was hospitalized with a skull fracture. The dog's owner is in jail, accused of trying to kill the driver. The dog, whose name is "Dingo," was hanging on for his life Thursday night.
"There are humane ways to euthanize an injured dog," said
Dr. Sarah Boyd, a veterinarian at Charleston Animal Society. Using a hammer and machete is not among them, she said.
According to a report from the Charleston County Sheriff's Office, the incident began about 9:30 a.m. on Tupelo Road, when a dog ran into the road and was hit by a pickup truck. The driver told deputies he got out and saw that the dog was dragging its hindquarters and he suspected his back was broken.
He told deputies he didn't feel it would be right to drive away and leave the dog in pain so he decided to kill the dog. He asked a passing motorist if he had a gun. The motorist didn't have one. He said he took a machete and hammer from his truck and struck the dog several times.
The dog's owner told deputies he heard his dog squealing in pain and ran outside to see a man standing over him with a machete and a hammer. He said he grabbed the weapons and started hitting the man.
A deputy arrived about 10:15 a.m. to find the dog lying on the side of the road, bleeding, the driver sitting in his truck, also bleeding, and the dog's owner standing outside his home.
William T. Youngman, 57, of Dupre Road in McClellanville, was taken by Charleston County EMS to Medical University Hospital. A physician told the deputy that Youngman had a skull fracture on the left side of his head, multiple orbital fractures and a cut on top of his head. He was unable to hear out of his left ear and doctors were going to hold him for observation because of the head injuries, according to the deputy's report. A hospital spokeswoman said late Thursday that Youngman was in good condition.
James Brian Kennedy, 42, of Tupelo Road, is charged with assault and battery with intent to kill and malicious injury to personal property. He was being held in the Charleston County jail. His bond hearing was scheduled for today.
Kennedy's mother, Helen Kennedy, told The Post and Courier that Dingo had wandered onto her son's property about a year ago.
"You could tell he'd been abused," she said. "He's scared of people. My son's been real attached to him and loves him to death. It's taken a year for the dog to get to the point where he would eat out of my son's hand."
She described her son as an animal lover who has cats and kittens as well as the dog. The dog, she said, would not come into her son's house, but he would follow Kennedy wherever he went in his yard.
Dingo was taken by sheriff's animal control officers to the Charleston Animal Society shelter on Remount Road in North Charleston, where shelter officials were hoping to be able to save the dog.
Boyd, the veterinarian, said Dingo was a Carolina Dog and about 3 years old. She said the dog was sitting up and alert when he arrived but he that was unable to walk. He had cuts on his head and nose and a bruised left eye. It was difficult to tell which injuries were caused by the accident and which were caused by the machete or hammer. Animal cruelty charges are pending against Youngman, according to the Sheriff's Office.
About 6 p.m. Thursday, Dingo took a turn for the worse and was taken to an animal hospital.
Jim Bush, executive director of the shelter, said doctors at the clinic found no broken bones.
"It began to look like he had a broken pelvis or broken back, but he has no fractures that we can see," he said. "It doesn't look like his organs are ruptured."
Bush said doctors were "guardedly optimistic" about Dingo's prognosis.
The dog has been moved to an emergency clinic.
Violence erupts after dog run over The Post and Courier - Charleston SC newspaper