A dog owner in Lowell, Massachusetts, was charged with animal cruelty after dragging his pit bull about a half mile with his vehicle.
Timothy Nicholas, 60, is accused of tying his dog, Buddy, to his van, then driving away.
A friend who was with Nicholas tells necn it was a mistake, and that they had forgotten about the dog.
That friend, who does not want to be identified, says the two men pulled over into Hovey Park in Lowell Sunday afternoon so that Buddy could go to the bathroom.
They tied him up to the van, then left a few minutes later, forgetting about the dog.
"He didn't mean to do anything wrong," said the friend.
They were flagged down by witnesses who alerted them about the dog.
"What were they thinking," said witness Linda Lutkus. "They weren't. You can't do that."
The 2-year-old dog sustained major injuries to his paws, legs and belly, but he is expected to survive.
He's already undergone a two-and-a-half-hour surgery.
"It's a pretty nasty incident," said Lowell Police Capt. Timothy Crowley.
Buddy remains at an animal hospital in Dracut.
Nicholas will be arraigned in Lowell District Court on July 14.