The case of a dog cruelly dragged behind an electric scooter begs an interesting question: can we forgive someone who abuses an animal because of its mental health?
Elaine Rosa was initially charged with animal cruelty after pulling a dog behind a bird scooter around Bakersfield, California in 2019. The dog zebra suffered bloody paws and abrasions, but no permanent damage. He did, however, need staples in his leg.
The poor little dog couldn’t keep up
Worrying surveillance footage shows Zebra being pulled on its leash and trying to keep up with the scooter. At top speed, bird scooters can travel 18 miles per hour. Eventually the dog fell and was dragged.
The footage doesn’t reveal how long Zebra was dragged, but eventually Rosa stops the scooter and picks it up. You can watch the video on Facebook or below, but be warned it can be annoying for sensitive viewers.
A witness reportedly confronted Rosa with the abuse at the time. In a post that has since been deleted but is still widely circulated, the witness wrote that she had seen zebra being pulled while cycling.
“The dog was lying on its side and we saw him drugged at least 100 meters and there is no telling how long she dragged him before we saw her.”
The witness said they followed Rosa back to her apartment while they were on the phone with the police.
“She told me she was going to call the police about harassment and threatened me, but she certainly didn’t open the door and say anything when the police knocked on the door. “
According to initial police reports, the dog legally belongs to another person. Zebra remains in that person’s possession.
Rosa avoids beliefs
In October 2020, Rosa participated in a mental health pre-trial distraction program. Rosa was officially checked and met the criteria for the diversion program under state law.
As a result, the The criminal case against her has been dropped. In 2021, the proceedings were finally discontinued under certain conditions.
Successful completion of the program meant that Rosa had no conviction on her file. During the hearing in October, prosecutor Andrea Kohler stated:
“This is a legal provision that allows some individuals charged with serious criminal offenses if they meet the criteria to ask for leniency. It is a motion that is made and assessed by the defense, and a report is usually made, as in this case. “
As a member of the National Guard, Rosa had to work with the veterans administration as well as a behavioral clinic. These institutions submitted status reports and the court monitored Rosa’s progress.
The public is not satisfied
As is common with animal cruelty, Rosa was given copious amounts of vitriol online after the incident. KGET put the surveillance material online and viewed it 75,000 times. A criminal charge petition made the rounds and garnered more than 2,000 signatures.
A few weeks after the news broke the incident, prosecutors filed charges of cruelty and failure to care for animals. Now people are still angry that those charges failed.
Prosecutor Kohler said in defense of the court’s decision:
“On the other hand, I believe that the evidence presented to us when we were received during our investigation showed that it was extremely negligent, grossly negligent, and not something the defendant did willfully. ”
I’m just glad Zebra is fine. Electric scooters are for people who ride alone, not a dog.
H / T: KGET
Featured image: KGET News / Facebook