A 70-year-old Mississauga man facing multiple charges, including impaired driving, after Peel Regional Police alleged a seven-month-old Pomeranian dog named Sky was dragged outside a moving car tells Global News he has no idea how the dog was injured.
“The cops they arrested me right over there,” Jose Tavares said in an interview at his home while discussing Wednesday’s incident.
“After they said the dog had an accident and he went to the hospital, to the animal control, and I said, ‘Oh, my poor dog. I even cried, cried, cried, cried, he’s so cute I loved that dog.’”
Tavares told Global News he took Sky, which belongs to his daughter who is currently in Vancouver, outside for three walks on Wednesday and when he came back the third time, he told his wife he was going to a plaza to get groceries as he put the dog inside a cage. He said he believes the dog somehow escaped.
A statement issued by Peel Regional Police Thursday morning said officers were called to the area of Winston Churchill Boulevard and Destination Drive, just north of Eglinton Avenue West, after 4 p.m. on Wednesday.
The statement said residents nearby reported seeing a small dog being dragged by the leash alongside a moving car.
“Several concerned citizens were able to stop the vehicle at which point the driver dropped the leash and fled the area in his vehicle,” it said.
“Officers were able to locate the vehicle and driver at a residence in the City of Mississauga and subsequently took him into custody.”
Investigators said Sky is expected to fully recover from the injuries sustained during the incident. A picture released by the police showed the dog at the hospital and it appeared there were visible injuries to its front paws.
Global News asked Tavares about the events described by investigators, but he was adamant the dog wasn’t with him.
“I don’t do anything to the dog,” he said.
“They said I had the dog on the side of the car, no.”
When asked why witnesses told officers that he allegedly dragged the dog, Tavares reiterated that Sky wasn’t in the vehicle.
“They arrest people for everything in this world. They can say whatever they want, but honestly with you, the dog wasn’t coming with me,” he said.
“No, I apologize for the poor animal. I really like him. Unfortunately, a little accident happened. I don’t know who did it.”
Tavares was charged with injuring an animal, impaired operation of a conveyance, and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose.
Global News asked about the impaired driving charge and Tavares said he did consume some red wine on Wednesday.
“I only had a couple of glasses. I already talked with the cops,” he said, confirming he blew over the legal limit of alcohol “a little bit” after being administered a breath test.
“They’re charging me for impaired, but I said, ‘Officer, I only had a few drinks, two glasses of wine, you’re putting me on impaired, which is not fair.”
Meanwhile, officers said the vet treating Sky has received offers of monetary donations, but the statement said they’re unable to accept the money. Residents were encouraged to donate to their local humane society instead.
Tavares was scheduled to appear in a Brampton court in October with respect to the charges. The allegations haven’t been proven in court.
Police noted the investigation into the incident is still underway. Anyone with information was asked to call 11 Division at 905-453-3311 ext. 1133 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.