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Two charged with animal cruelty after chaining, dragging dog in Stokes County

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Jose Lopez, 35 and Jonathon Mason Evans, 18

SANDY RIDGE, N.C. — Stokes County Sheriff’s deputies arrested one man Monday and another Tuesday in connection with the death of a German Shepard mix the evening of Labor Day.

According to witnesses who told investigators with Stokes County Animal Control that they saw the whole thing, Jonathon Mason Evans, 18, abused the dog before chaining it to the back of a pickup truck. After that, the witnesses said Jose Lopez, 35, drove the truck down the road, killing the dog.

“[Evans] picked the dog up over his head and slammed it down on the ground twice,” said Brittany Southern, who lives on the street where she says the incident occurred. “I’ve never seen anything like this happen around here.”

Southern said she saw what happened from her porch, along with her brother Adam Southern and their friend Robbie Davidson.

Deputies arrested Lopez Monday and charged him with felony animal cruelty. They arrested Evans on Tuesday and charged him with the same. Deputies also arrested Misti Reneice Saunders, 33, and charged her with misdemeanor child abuse.

Saunders told a reporter and photographer not to enter her property Monday before the arrest. She did not comment on the incident.

According to Davidson and the Southerns, Evans was upset because the dog bit him.

“The dog bit him, and I guess that’s reason to drag a dog behind a truck,” Davidson said sarcastically.

“If a dog bit me, I don’t think I’d drag it up and down the road and kill it,” Adam Southern said.

Because of Susie’s Law, animal cruelty is now a Class H felony. It carries with it a possible four to eight-month jail sentence for a first-time offender.

Stokes County Animal Control is separate from the Sheriff’s Department. Animal Control Officer Phil Handy said his department was waiting on a press release from the district attorney’s office to give more details about this case.