An escaped dog seen being dragged down the hallway of an animal shelter in a viral video has ignited a firestorm in Southern California, with viewers upset by the perceived indifference of shelter staff.
The dog who was so reluctant to follow its handler down the hallway at the Hesperia Animal Shelter is named Mia. She's five or six years old, and escaped from her home in Hesperia last week, according to her owner, Tracie Carpenter.
Carpenter only saw the video, posted to a private Facebook group, after a friend notified her to it. It shows Mia struggling against her leash as she is dragged the length of a hallway, apparently while other workers look on.
Carpenter was incensed.
"The fact that there's three people in the video watching the dog being (dragged) by its neck all the way down the hallway — and nobody said anything — is beyond frustrating," Carpenter said.
Mia had escaped from home and was picked up after a few days by shelter workers, Carpenter said. A neighbor saw Mia get picked up, so Carpenter called the shelter, which kept the dog overnight so it could spay her. Mia was picked up on Friday, Feb. 12.
In a post on the Hesperia Animal Shelter's Facebook page Thursday, officials said city management is investigating what happened, and offered "our sincerest apologies."
"Shelter animals, as well as members of the community, deserve better and we vow to do better," the post said.
But commenters in the hundreds remained angry at the staff for ignoring that the dog was being dragged.
"She's got both hands behind her back like she's pulling a wagon," dog trainer Charlie Brugnola told the Victorville Daily Press.
The Hesperia City Council is planning on holding a special meeting at 6:30 p.m. Monday so residents can voice any concerns about the video.
The city is encouraging anyone with concerns to email firstname.lastname@example.org.