Alton Man Accused of Dragging Puppy "Like It's a Stuffed Animal" Says Vet Told Him To Do It

harper puppy.jpg
Courtesy Hope Rescues
Harper the puppy was dragged for blocks.
Alton, Illinois, resident Michael Thomas, 38, was trying to walk his three-month-old yellow labrador on a leash over the weekend, but when the puppy wasn't cooperative, he began to drag her. For many blocks. Until the little pup was nearly unconscious.

So says Jackie Spiker, cofounder of Alton's Hope Animal Rescues, who eventually took custody of the badly injured puppy, now named Harper.

"When police arrived on scene, she was completely motionless," Spiker, who talked to witnesses that alerted authorities, tells Daily RFT. "He was dragging the puppy like it's a stuffed animal. But it wasn't. It was a real puppy."

KTVI (Channel 2) says that after his arrest over the weekend, Thomas offered an explanation: A veterinarian told him to drag the puppy -- to train her.

Spiker tells us she heard that he had given that excuse -- but knows that no vet would ever advise puppy dragging.

michael thomas mugshot.jpg
Michael Thomas, 38.

"He probably was not listening," she says.

Spiker tells us that witnesses driving by at first thought he was just a strange man dragging an actual stuffed animal on a leash -- but when they saw him a second time, they realized it was a live puppy he had. And she was being very badly hurt. Their attempts to tell him to stop were not successful.

harper puppy 2.jpg
Courtesy of Hope Rescue

Continue for more on Harper's rescue and recovery.

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