Man on video dragging dog says it was an accident, not abuse

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Sam May says he is an Iraq war veteran with some issues, but being an animal abuser is not one of them, and says the dragging of his puppy behind his motor scooter was not intentional.

"I'm mad at myself for my own stupidity. I miss her. I didn't know I was dragging her, I would never intentionally hurt Georgia-girl, never. Never," he said, his voice breaking and eyes filling with tears.

He says he has been a good parent to Georgia the chocolate Labrador, and points to her favorite recliner in the living room with two big chew bones.

"I buy the best food for her. I cook white rice and put it in her food. I put an egg in there for her coat. She is loved," he said.

May says he has taken Georgia on several runs behind the scooter to give her much needed exercise.

"I never pulled her. She always ran. She never had a problem with running with the scooter before, ever. The scooter doesn't go much more than 10-12 miles per hour and I didn't have the throttle on hardly at all," he said.

Video released of the incident has sparked outrage among animal lovers around the country.

May knows it looks bad and says he feels awful, but says it was a terrible accident.

"I'm guilty of not being cautious enough, but it was a mistake. That dog is loved, you can tell just by handling her. I miss her company," he said. "After it happened, I came home and put peroxide and warm water and soap on her wounds. I broke down, I was in tears. The whole next day she stayed with me on my lap," he said.

Georgia, who May says is close to 6 months old, is being held in the Rock Island County Animal Shelter, and is doing well.

May says he will try to get his dog back at a court hearing next month.


  • martha

    I just watched the interview with the man who drug his dog behind his scooter. I don’t believe that it was intentional. I too had a similar incident in the early 80″s. I was asked to dog sit for a day and I was moving into an upstairs apartment and the dog was rather big so I chained the dog to the back of the bumper of my car and put his bowl of water and food in reach the continued to unpack when I needed something from the store and I jumped in the car and took off.. I seen people yelling at me but I had no clue. until I got to the store and I was horrified at what if figured out why people were trying to yell at me and get my attention. I had too drug the dog. I felt awful and have carried that guilt with me all these years. The dog did not die tho he suffered the same kinds of wounds. it was a stupid mistake. I was so rapped up in my unpacking that in a hurry I took off and forgot that I even had the dog. I feel for the the dog and the guy.. I just wanted to say I believe it was an accident.

    • His Family

      First off all let me say I have been in a relationship with this man for 11years. It WAS an ACCIDENT. Had it been intentionally done, I’d be the firstto go to the news and say other wise! I personally bought Georgia for him and I can tell you he would NEVER hurt her on purpose. Certainly he should have been more cautious il be the first to say so, but it most certainly was NOT intentional. Everyone has made bad judgement calls maybe not to the same extent but most certainly have, except the police don’t run to the media with footage for all to see and judge! Our entire family has been affected by this NOT just him our daughter and I are heartbroken part of our family isn’t home with us.

      • Sky and Zora's Person

        If you gave Sam this dog, “Sam’s Family”, and then you allowed him to “exercise” this puppy in this way, then you and your whole family should not have a dog, and you are also just as responsible for what happened.

        Sam and his family needs to be educated fully on what a dog’s needs are and how to properly take care of one. Then they also need to be willing to follow through, even if/when you don’t feel like doing it.

        An energetic dog does need a lot of exercise. I have two of them. If Sam, or anyone else in the family, is not willing to take the dog out daily for proper exercise, not involving a motorized vehicle, none of you should have a dog – period.

        Get on a bike or skateboard if you don’t want to walk, or take her to a dog park to run and play with other energetic dogs. There is more to having a dog than buying a bag of dog food and a bone.

        If it was a “mistake,” it was a big one. Most rational thinking people would not even think of exercising their dog with a motorized vehicle. That is why people are so suspicious of what happened.

        In a car or truck, as one person stated happened to them, you likely won’t feel a dog being dragged behind you in an accidental mishap. However, a large 70-80 lb Lab being dragged behind a scooter should be very noticeable, and being injured she surely yelped in pain. Unless, the driver was impaired in a way that made it difficult for him to hear or recognize that. Which is the only other logical explanation if it was not intentional.

        That is likely why the woman in the video asked Sam if he was capable of properly caring for Georgia. Not because he is an evil man, but for the safety of Georgia, whether it was intentional or not.

      • Jeanette Lyn

        Save it! It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out the “dragging” of this dog versus a slight pull from of a leash! You’re delusional if you think different!

      • His Family

        @sky and noras person – first of all judge him by his lack of good judgement if you like, but u CERTAINLY have no right to attack me or the rest of my family. I WALKED her and played fetch and trained her everyday. I am in NO WAY excusing what happened. But to judge so harshly without all the facts and to bash ME shows exactly what kind of person you are too. I am simply stating THIS WAS AN ACCIDENT. Period not excusing it.

      • Vicki Hampton

        You know, you are really more horrid than he is, for attempting to make this situation go away. Neither him nor you should EVER be allowed contact nor ownership of ANY animal…ever again!

      • Renee

        I was out raged when I first saw the video but after hearing his side of the story I truley believe he didn’t intend to hurt her. I hope the judge sees it wasn’t done to hurt her and he gets her back

      • pamela jones

        our whole family seem like stupid people and u or him need any animals in that family …..and shouldnt gave him a dog in the frist place he has issuses and looks like he cant even take care of him self and i thank the person that called the police on him all people that see any animal abuse she call and help and say something

  • amom

    I watched the interview also. I do believe this was not an intentional act. I hope that he is able to get his dog back. She appears to not have been beaten or neglected…and very much loved. Yes, he did not pay attention and that poor dog was injured..tragic, yes…but not intentional and I imagine he will go to great lengths to make sure this kind of thing doesn’t happen again.

  • Dog lover

    If this guy is so stupid, wasted , drunk, whatever, that he doesn’t know he is dragging his pet then he has no business having it in the first place. Go cry to Chris Minor or some other bleeding heart, but don’t waste your breath with me. Maybe it’s a good thing that you lost your job. If you’re so careless with the dog you love so much I’d hate to see how you care for the elderly.

  • lorie

    One important question, how on earth did this man not hear the yelping or distress im sure this poor dog expressed. Or the disregard to glance at the pup. How long did this “exercise” continue for the pup to give up and be dragged. Feel for the pup that has NO VOICE.

  • doglover2

    I feel bad for his family for the pain they’re experiencing over this BUT I have no sympathy for this man…..NONE. Save the the crocodile tears because there’s no excuses for what he’s done to that little innocent pup!!!

  • joan crowe

    I also watched the interview, realize all the facts may not be out there for the general public to view. I have to say, as much as it was a very careless thing to do I believe him that he didn’t mean it intentionally. He’s already been fired from his job, everyone hates him , I think I am going to reserve judgement until more facts are known.

    • Jeanette Lyn

      Joan, the facts are clear. He dragged the dog while pulling her on a motorized scooter!! That in it’s self is cruel. He has no driver’s license and a DUI on top of it, so ya, he’s going to use the “I’m a war vet” to get off on this. Sorry, no excuses.

      • pamela jones

        i agree and i beleive that he has more problems like u said drinking or worse hope the people dont fall for im a vet to get out of trouble either and REMBER THAT THE DOG IS THE VICTIM

  • Patty Hayes

    Poor judgement doesn’t always translate into a criminal act. Hard as it was to watch that video, it seems to me that if Sam was interested in hurting the dog, he wouldn’t have driven the scooter to a store for everyone to see. IMO, his remorse and anger at himself is genuine. He shouldn’t have lost his job over this incident…but Sam has learned one of the most painful of life’s lessons….when it comes to our loved ones and animals in our care, stopping, thinking, asking ourselves ‘what if?’ is our responsibility.

  • pam

    all I can say is that he better not get the dog back he does not care about this dog or the family how would you like to be tied to a car and dragged for miles maybe some body should do that to him and see if he likes it I love my dog and I would not even dream about doing that to my dog my dog gets exercise by going for a walk or being played with in a backyard

  • His Family

    Atleast there are a few people who can actually see this for what
    It was, a HORRIBLE accident and certainly a lack of good judgement.I in no way condone the very bad decision he made to have her with him on his scooter, and was not present NOR aware of the fact he had taken her with him.However I can tell you he has VERY MUCH paid for his decision before ever setting foot in a court room.

  • dana beachler

    I cannot believe he was fired from his job! REALLY….??? fine him or do whatever but to fire him from his job??? OUT RAAAGGGGEEDD! If I do something outside of my job I should not be fired!

    • pamela jones

      i dont agree when he has done this type of abuse he can hurt a animal he could hurt a person …..and thats why when in healthcare field he got fired

  • Cindy

    This man has NO BUSINESS owning a pet of any kind. I pray the judge has the sense to make sure Georgia NEVER returns to this man.

  • Carrie

    I bike with my dog, on a non-motorized bike. I have an eye on her at all times,I worked with her to understand how the bike moves and I have a special bar for her leash to tie to so she does not get hurt. In most states, it is illegal to lead an animal with a motor vehicle. If this man did not have the presence of mind to teach her how to go along with the scooter and stop the moment she could not keep up, then what else is he missing. No, just no dog given back and yes, community service or jail time. If it were a kid and this was a “Mistake” without any “Ill intentions” he would be in jail. Justice for Georgia!

  • Angelese

    If she is adopted out I will be there first thing. I would never hurt an animal. I have a wonderful home she can be a part of :)

  • Brian

    Please tell me this guy and his family will never be allowed to own another pet. There is no excuse for putting an animal through that type of abuse. I am shocked that he thinks he should get his dog back. I would like to take him for a long jog on the back of a moped.

  • Jen B

    I am so ashamed of my fellow quad citians and their self righteous judgement on someone they have never met!! Does no one believe they can make a grave mistake in a moment they wish they could take away forever?! As a parent of children as well as pets I can say, none of us are perfect and thank God you aren’t all under video surveilance during your stupid moments. My prayers are with Sams family.

  • Tina

    No more animals for this guy. This guy need some serious therapy. He should not be left to care for any animal or person on his own. This is like a domestic abuse case, ‘ i didn’t mean it. I really love you. It won’t happen again’ and the guy that tied the dog to the back of his truck, also should NOT be left alone with any animal or person. If you can’t figure out that that’s a bad idea even when you’re in ‘busy mode’, you have NO business having an animal or person in your care. This is elementary school stuff people. Tie a rope around your neck and do some work on a roof, would you do that?
    These people making excuses for this guy are out of hand! He is not capable of caring for anything on his own. Get him a virtual pet, (and get one for the genius that tied the dog to the truck as well!!!) then he can’t hurt any innocent animals, and there can be NO more accidents.

  • Helen Peterson

    Lets all gather at the courthouse on the trial day and show our overwhelming concern that this dog is NEVER returned to anyone that does not have the basic common sense to take proper care of a pet.
    Whether or not the incident was an accident, the facts show that the dog owner simply does not have the mental capacity to deal with something so utterly obviously basic in care. I’m sorry if he is “special needs” or “challenged” or whatever – but if he can’t properly care for the dog he should not have one. Get him help, NOT a dog.
    Meet me at the court house, hopefully Chris Minor will keep us updated and let us know the hearing date.
    I guess I will be second in line for adoption. I want him, already love him to death. This dog deserves a VERY special life that I am more than prepared to offer (including a HUGE fenced yard for “free run” exercise).

  • sarah

    SarahDecember 11, 2013 at 2:14 pmHave any of you stopped to think and consider this? This man is a person just like anyone else, he’s not perfect. I myself would never tie any animal to the back of a scooter but I would also never ride a bike with my dog on a leash next to me, something people do all the time. He made a poor decision. What the news didn’t show was that he did indeed walk away with the dog, pushing his scooter after he noticed there was an issue. I mean if he simply didn’t care and was out to hurt the dog wouldn’t he have just taken off on the scooter back home dragging her along? Why bother giving her water or treating her wounds if he is such a monster? I DO know this man personally, I do not particularly care for him. If I thought for a second that he did this intentionally I would be screaming it from the rooftops.He didn’t do this on purpose. He’s lost his job, his reputation is permanently destroyed, he’s been to jail, lost is daughters dog, paid fines and will forever carry around the guilt from this incident. You all look like a lynch mob demanding his head on a stick.What you do not know about this man is that he now has to worry about how he’s going to feed his daughters, keep a roof over their head, how he’s going to provide for the mother of his children, how he will ever work again in this community of people who have taken it upon themselves to be the judge, jury and executioner by plastering his face all over the television and internet. All for what? Because he made one poor decision? There isn’t one person reading this that has never made a poor decision. What if one split second decision you made turned your whole entire world upside down?This man is the father of my sisters children. I was up with her last night as she made the incredibly difficult decision not to have the father of her children present at the hospital when their daughter was born this morning for fear that perhaps someone would recognize his face. Yes, you’ve all taken that from him too. What more do you all want from him? How much more should him and his family endure because of his poor decision?I am in no way defending what he did. He should have never tied Georgia, his 7 month old lab to the back of that scooter. The media has blown this way way out of proportion by claiming that Georgia was a 4 month old puppy and repetitively showing a 3 second clip that is forever embedded in all of your minds. The facts were stretched, twisted and at times completely fabricated. Should he have been more attentive? Sure he should have. This trip was routine for him and Georgia, they had been doing this exact some trip this exact same way for 5 months without incident. After something becomes routine our awareness is not as heightened as it is initially. This goes with anything we do in our daily lives.It has been a week and Georgia’s wounds are almost completely healed. Don’t you think it’s about time that you all stop posting, sharing and campaigning against him? Let him bring his daughter and mother of his children home from the hospital and begin picking up the pieces and putting their lives back together.MY SISTER’S FAMILY HAS SUFFERED ENOUGH

    • Helen Peterson

      The very fact that Sam “thought” is was “OK/routine” to do that to a dog is proof POSITIVE that Sam is not capable of thinking things through LOGICALLY. He is obviously a bit slow, perhaps mentally handicapped, challenged or special needs. Many of us don’t blame nor condemn Sam, we simply say, get him help – not a dog that he apparently does NOT know how to treat. The judge should, as a minimum, order a psych eval to help him reach a reasonable decision.
      And your most certainly correct, dogs should neither be pulled along beside a bicycle, especially those with exceptionally short legs. Both are equally wrong and abuse.

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