FORT WALTON BEACH — A 79-year-old Shalimar man was charged Saturday after chaining his dog to a golf cart and dragging it down the road.
Dean Woodyatt ignored motorists honking in protest and prevented Good Samaritans from helping the dog after it collapsed, according to his Fort Walton Beach Police Department arrest report. One of the witnesses had to chase Woodyatt down to get him to stop.
The German shepherd died of heat-related injuries near Eglin Parkway and Highway Avenue, the report said.
It is not known how long Woodyatt had been dragging the dog, the report said. The incident happened just after noon on Saturday, when temperatures were in the high 70s.
The dog was laying on the ground struggling to breathe when Fort Walton Beach police officers arrived. According to the report, the dog also had multiple injuries to all four feet.
Woodyatt attempted to leave by grabbing the leash and jumping back into the golf cart. After he refused to comply with the officers’ request to put the leash down, he was taken into custody.
According to the report, "Officers had to pry the chain out of Woodyatt’s hands" and "he physically resisted by holding onto the golf cart."
He was taken to the Okaloosa County Jail.
At the police department's request, a Panhandle Animal Welfare Society animal control officer responded to the scene and transported the dog to the PAWS veterinary clinic for a necropsy. PAWS is pursuing all applicable charges.
"Animal cruelty is never acceptable in a civilized society, " said PAWS Interim Executive Director Melissa Forberg.