BRISTOW — A mixed-breed dog that was severely injured after being dragged behind a vehicle near Sapulpa has been given a second shot at life. Nursed back to health by veterinarians in Bristow, Sammy, a small brown dog, has now been adopted and is in a good home. He still goes to the Bristow Veterinary Hospital once a week for checkups. On Oct. 16, Dr. William H. Mitchell received a call from the Oklahoma Alliance for Animals, saying the agency had a dog that needed to be put to sleep. Yet, "When I saw him, I was surprised how together he seemed to be. I knew it would take a long time, but this dog would pull through,” Mitchell said. Mitchell was aided by fellow veterinarian Dr. Agniellis Feliciano. A Sapulpa man, Cody Wayne Hahn, 20, has been charged with three felony counts in connection with the dog’s abuse. He was released from the Creek County jail Tuesday after posting $6,000 bail. The sheriff’s office said witnesses saw Sammy being dragged by a black SUV, and they had tried to chase after the vehicle but were unable to keep up with its speed.
After being in practice for many years, you can see into an animal’s eyes and read them. I saw kindness, a calm demeanor.”
Dr. William H. Mitchell
What witnesses sawWitnesses said the dog tried to keep up with the vehicle, but then, exhausted, Sammy just gave out and was dragged until his collar came loose. Those witnesses also reported that once the dog came free of the collar, the SUV driver stopped, went around to the back and put the leash into the vehicle as Sammy lay nearby. What’s more troubling to authorities is that there was a female passenger in the SUV who petted the dog before they sped away in the vehicle. She has yet to be identified. Sheriff’s deputies soon found the SUV and questioned Hahn, who denied any involvement. However, Hahn was picked out of a photo lineup by the witnesses as the alleged driver of the SUV. Hahn, according to the sheriff’s office, was on leave from the Army at the time of the abuse. When the warrants for his arrest were issued, he had already returned to Korea, where he was stationed. Local authorities, though, contacted the Army, and military police arrested him in Korea and arranged for his return to Sapulpa on Tuesday. Ruth Steinberger, state outreach coordinator for the Oklahoma Alliance for Animals, said a sheriff’s deputy who worked the case contacted the agency for help that day. The deputy, she said, "could tell it was a sweet dog. It was even trying to wag its tail,” despite its ghastly injuries. It was that same sweetness that Mitchell spotted right away that evening.
‘It was disturbing’"It was disturbing when I saw him,” Mitchell said. "The dog seemed so friendly. "After being in practice for many years, you can see into an animal’s eyes and read them. I saw kindness, a calm demeanor.” He said Sammy was in a state of shock when he first arrived at the Bristow Veterinary Hospital and, though in obvious pain, the pooch tried to sit up for Mitchell. Mitchell said the treatment and care for Sammy topped $3,500, most of which was absorbed by the hospital. The Oklahoma Alliance for Animals also contributed about $1,000 in donations to help defray some of the costs for treating Sammy. Steinberger said it’s obvious that Sammy, until Oct. 16, had been someone’s pet. "He knows all kinds of tricks, and he begs for treats,” Steinberger said. "He’s cute, a doll of a dog.”