RUFFS DALE, Pa. (KDKA) — An 18-year-old Scottdale man is facing felony cruelty charges after he allegedly beat, kicked and ran over a stray dog.
Humane officers in Westmoreland County say the case is an unspeakable act of animal cruelty.READ MORE: Current And Former KDKA Talent Honored At 2021 Mid-Atlantic EMMY Awards
The dog, now named Russell, survived the attack but is being treated by the medical staff at New Stanton Veterinary for significant injuries. He will need at least six weeks of kennel rest to help him heal.
Investigators say 18-year-old Devin Rugg allegedly brutalized the dog because he was angry with his girlfriend.
“[Russell] has multiple pelvic fractures, he has road rash. He’s lame today. Today is a bad day for him,” Humane Officer Dina Perri said.
According to state police, Rugg had the stray in his pickup truck when he stopped along Rankin Road in Mount Pleasant Township. Investigators say that’s where Rugg attacked the animal.
“I don’t know what kind of human being would do something like that,” State Trooper Steve Limani said. [Rugg] decided to hit and punch the dog. He took the dog outside of the vehicle, proceeded to kick it and physically beat it, and subsequently got back in his vehicle backed up and ran the dog over.”
People living nearby discovered the injured animal and called state police.READ MORE: 'I Hope He Gets Home Safely:' Pittsburghers Spot Escaped Steller's Sea Eagle Kodiak Around The City
“Through some tips and Facebook, we were able to develop a suspect,” Trooper Limani said.
State police say the attack happened after Rugg got a phone call from a girlfriend.
“He was involved with his girlfriend, for some reason got angry with her, and decided to beat a dog almost to death,” Trooper Limani said.
Melanie Webb, who is now taking care of the dog, says animals paying the price for human rage is nothing new.
“Absolutely more common than you think, and typically abuse of an animal leads to abuse of a person later, as well,” Webb said.
Rugg is free on bond. He faces felony aggravated animal cruelty and related charges.MORE NEWS: 'We Feel There Is Enough Evidence:' Family Of Codi Joyce Calling For Grand Jury In Their Son's Death
Russell’s owner remains a mystery. The cost to rehabilitate him from his injuries will be enormous. If you would like to help, visit the All But Furgotten rescue’s website at this link.