EUGENE, Ore. (KOIN) — A Eugene man is behind bars and a small dog recovering at the vet after a beating early Tuesday morning.
According to Eugene police, 24-year-old Zachary Ralston was seen by a security guard at the Valley River Center choking, throwing, kicking and punching a small dog. Police stopped Ralston’s car and found the small dog inside nearly beaten to death. Ralston was also in possession of meth and heroin, according to officials.
The dog, named Earl, was rushed to an emergency veterinarian where he is in critical condition. Doctors say when he was brought in his heart rate was 50 beats per minute. A normal heart rate for a dog that size is between 100 and 160 beats per minute. Doctors are impressed with Earl’s progress though, saying he is able to stand on his front legs and go to the bathroom by himself. He isn’t bleeding internally and doctors say they are optimistic.
As for Ralston, he told police he was watching the dog for a friend. Police haven’t been able to locate that friend. He faces aggravated animal abuse and drug charges.