Days after a security camera caught a person parking an SUV on a southwest Missouri road, releasing a dog from the back and driving away, authorities say they’ve arrested the driver, and a rescue organization is caring for the dog.
The video of the dog getting left behind on a back road outside of Springfield and chasing after the vehicle has more than 1 million views on Facebook and has been shared more than 28,000 times, sparking outrage among many in the Ozarks.
It started when Glenn Blake checked his home security footage and saw that an SUV pulled up to his neighborhood on a hot Tuesday morning, and a driver got out and let a brown, medium-sized dog out of the back of the vehicle.
The video then shows the person shutting the back door, returning to the driver’s seat and driving away.
The dog runs after the SUV, and the video ends.
Blake posted the video on Facebook and said he called the Greene County Sheriff’s Office for help.
“Person dumping dog in our neighborhood this morning 10 July at 10:13,” Blake wrote. “Please share. I had no idea this video would spread so fast and so far.”
A deputy with the Sheriff’s Office found the dog — a female Lab mix, according to the Springfield News-Leader — and she was taken to a Springfield nonprofit called Rescue One.
The dog, now named Hope, “came in very dehydrated and her paw pads are burned” from running on the pavement, the rescue said in a Facebook post later that night.
In an effort to identify the driver, the Sheriff’s Office shared Blake’s video on Facebook and asked for the public’s help.
By Friday night, authorities announced they had located the driver.
“Remember the lady who dumped ‘Hope’ the dog on the side of the road?” the Sheriff’s Office wrote on Facebook. “She was arrested!”
Authorities didn’t disclose how the driver was identified or how they found her, but they said Ashley Nicole Devine, of Springfield, was arrested and booked in the county jail on suspicion of animal neglect and abandonment, which is a misdemeanor in the state.
Devine remained in jail Saturday and has not been charged.
A few people have since defended Devine online, adding that they want to hear her side of the story. Dozens of others thanked the Sheriff’s Office for making the arrest.
Others, like the rescue organization, said they want to see justice for the animal.
Following the announcement, the rescue caring for Hope shared Devine’s mugshot and said on Facebook, “Yes!!!!!!! Great job everyone!! #justiceforhope.”