ST. LOUIS (AP) - A dog that nearly died after it was dragged behind a truck on an interstate in St. Louis is healthy again and has a new home.
Trooper, the 19-month-old pit bull mix, went home Thursday with a St. Louis-area man. The new owner, Greg. W., declined to give his last name because of the publicity surrounding the dog. He said a pit bull he owned for 14 years died in October.
"Trooper is filling his void," the man said. "He will have a big backyard. He can go on two-mile hikes. He's going to be very happy in his new home."
Trooper was 5 months old in November 2012 when he was dragged nearly a mile on Interstate 55 while tied to the trailer hitch of a pickup. The driver was not aware that the dog was being dragged. The dog suffered severe injuries and underwent numerous surgeries while recovering.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that Trooper was nursed back to health by the Humane Society of Missouri, which said Greg W. was selected from numerous applicants who wanted to adopt the dog.
Trooper's medical care cost tens of thousands of dollars. The Humane Society said it will pay for Trooper's veterinary care for the rest of the dog's life.
The dog's ordeal began when Benetta Johnson, 42, of East St. Louis told her son to return him to her ex-husband. She says she told her son to put the dog in the bed of her former spouse's truck, but instead the teen tied it to the trailer hitch. The ex-husband didn't see the dog before he drove off.
Johnson was found guilty in April of misdemeanor animal abuse and sentenced to two years' probation and 150 hours of community service. She was also ordered to donate $250 to the Humane Society and take an animal care class.