Police: Man with meth and heroin brutally beat small dog in mall - KPTV - FOX 12

Police: Man with meth and heroin brutally beat small dog in mall parking lot

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Police said Earl the dog was brutally beaten by a man outside the Valley River Center in Eugene. (Photo: Eugene PD) Police said Earl the dog was brutally beaten by a man outside the Valley River Center in Eugene. (Photo: Eugene PD)
Zachary Ralston, jail booking photo Zachary Ralston, jail booking photo
Police said the suspect, Zachary Ralston, was watching Earl for a friend. (Photo: Eugene PD) Police said the suspect, Zachary Ralston, was watching Earl for a friend. (Photo: Eugene PD)
Earl made improvements under constant care at an emergency veterinary hospital and more X-rays were planned. (Photo: Eugene PD) Earl made improvements under constant care at an emergency veterinary hospital and more X-rays were planned. (Photo: Eugene PD)
EUGENE, OR (KPTV) -

A security guard saw a man choking, throwing, kicking and punching a small dog in the Valley River Center parking lot early Tuesday morning, according to police.

Officers arrived and conducted a traffic stop on the suspect at 12:50 a.m. The officers found a dog named Earl unresponsive and nearly beaten to death in Zachary Michael Ralston's Ford Mustang.

Ralston, 24, was taken into custody. Police said he was in possession of methamphetamine and heroin.

The dog was rushed to an emergency veterinary hospital in critical condition. Police said Tuesday that Earl has made improvements while under constant care, but he is still not able to stand on his back legs and it will take time to see whether he has a spinal issue.

Veterinarians said Earl is not bleeding internally and more X-rays were planned Tuesday.

"Time is going to tell them more but everyone is optimistic," according to a Eugene Police Department statement.

Investigators said Ralston was watching the dog for a friend.

Ralston was booked into the Lane County Jail on charges of aggravated animal abuse, unlawful possession of heroin and unlawful possession of meth.

Anyone interested in contributing to Earl’s care can donate directly to the Emergency Veterinary Hospital in Springfield at 541-746-0112. The hospital can accept up to a $100 non-tax deductible donation over the phone, according to police. 

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