A Chicago man was charged Tuesday with aggravated animal cruelty after police, following a trail of blood on the sidewalk, said they found a pit bull puppy with scratches and open wounds on his stomach, paws and back.
The dog's owner, Stanton Howard, told police he was a trainer and dragged the dog because he was "teaching him how to walk," according to police spokesman Michael Sullivan.
Police suspect Howard, 42, was actually teaching the dog how to fight.
Two American pit bulls were ultimately taken by police from the apartment, on the 1300 block of North Rockwell Street, and sent to Chicago's Animal Care and Control. The second dog appeared to be lovable and uninjured.
"I think people often get them for a lot of the wrong reasons," said Cherie Travis, the executive director of the facility where pit bulls make up 70 percent of the animal population.
Those reasons often include using the very loyal and strong dogs for personal security and fighting, which is increasingly leading to cases of animal cruelty.
"I wish it were rare. We've been seeing a lot of them. My hope is that it's the police are doing such a great job and the state's attorneys are doing such a great job that we're just seeing more prosecutions, but it certainly is heartbreaking for us to see animals being brought in that have been harmed," said Travis.
Howard is due in court on March 20.
Last week, a Chicago man and a boy were accused of abusing dogs and puppies and posting videos of their antics on YouTube.