RACINE — A Racine man was arrested after allegedly dragging a dog along the road with his van.

Peter M. Valente, 53, of the 1400 block of LaSalle Street, is charged with felony mistreatment of animals and intentionally leading an animal from a motor vehicle.

According to the criminal complaint:

At approximately 11:50 p.m. on Aug. 11, Racine police were dispatched to the 1600 block of LaSalle Street. A witness stated she heard a metal dragging noise coming down the street and when she looked out the window, she saw a green conversion van dragging a tan dog down the street.

The witness also reportedly saw a car following the van, honking to try to stop the van. When the van tried to pull over, the dog broke free, limped to the sidewalk and fled.

Police followed a trail of blood to a nearby residence where they located a van matching the vehicle’s description.

Two witnesses found the dog and thought it was hit by a car. They attempted to clean the animal’s wounds and called the owner, who they said allegedly drinks heavily and would not answer his phone.

When police spoke with the dog’s owner, who also allegedly lives in the home the green van was found at, he said he knew the dog was injured, but did not know how badly. When asked about the van in the yard, the dog’s owner said it belonged to Valente.

Police found Valente sleeping in the van and asked him about a dog being dragged. Valente reportedly got defensive and denied dragging the dog. Police could also smell alcohol on Valente’s breath.

The dog was taken to a veterinarian, who said the dog’s injuries were consistent with being dragged. They included bruising and road rash to its stomach and testicles, exposed tendons with black cauterization to all four legs and open and exposed paw pads.

The vet also noted the dog was in poor condition before the accident and may need to be euthanized due to its injuries.

Valente remained in custody on a $15,000 cash bond, as of Thursday afternoon. A preliminary hearing is set at 9 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 12.


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