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.