BEAVERTON, Ore. (KOIN) — A Beaverton Middle School teacher’s dog is dead after deputies said he left the dog in his pickup truck and he jumped out, hanging himself with the leash.
Stoller Middle School teacher John Wickham was arrested and cited for animal neglect after his dog, Clark, died Wednesday in the school parking lot. Wickham had no comment on the situation, but the Washington County Sheriff’s Office said this was very avoidable.
It was warm on Wednesday, in the 80s, when Wickham allegedly left Clark in his car throughout the school day. According to the report filed by the Washington County deputy who responded, Wickham said he doesn’t usually bring his dog to work, but did that day because he was going to be there later than usual.
One witness told the deputy she had seen the dog barking and acting frantic before he jumped out. She said the dog was struggling with its legs barely touching the ground and went into Jacob Wismer Elementary across the street to tell someone. Two women then went back to the truck and found the dog already dead.
The leash had been attached to the tow hook in the truck bed and wasn’t long enough to allow him to reach the ground.
Some witnesses, who did not want to speak on camera, told KOIN 6 News their kids saw the tragic scene before the dog was detached from his leash.
“Some parents were coming to pick up their kids,” Sgt. Bob Ray with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office said.
The report said Wickham came outside, put the dog back into the truck bed and told witnesses, “these things happen,” before going back to work.
Wickham later told the responding deputy the black lab/border collie mix was 1-2 years old and had just been adopted from a shelter in August 2017. He Clark had previously jumped out of the bed when Wickham checked on him around noon, so he tied the leash to a hook in the bed and left the canopy window cracked.
“It’s tragic and it’s completely avoidable,” Ray said. “There were a lot of things that could have been done in this situation to save the dog.”
Wickham was cited for animal neglect but was not detained. According to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Clark was cremated later that night at Bonnie L. Hayes.
Ray said if you see an animal in distress, call 911 right away.
“Please call us immediately,” Ray said. “We’d rather come out and have everything be OK than end up getting a call later when things have gone very tragic.”