A man charged in the death of his dog, after the animal fell out of the bed of his truck and was dragged down the road, was sentenced to 90 days in jail following a two-day jury trial in Clark County District Court.
Jurors found David Kadow guilty Friday afternoon of second-degree animal cruelty, a gross misdemeanor. They deliberated for 40 minutes before reaching their decision that Kadow either knowingly, recklessly or with criminal negligence inflicted unnecessary suffering or pain upon Hailey, his 10-year-old pit bull.
The dog died May 22 after being swept under the truck’s rear passenger tire as the truck turned from East 28th Street onto Norris Road, court records show.
Kadow, 52, had initially appeared in Superior Court on suspicion of first-degree animal cruelty, a felony. However, the case was exonerated a short time later after the Clark County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office determined there wasn’t enough evidence to prove there was intentional animal cruelty.
During closing arguments Friday afternoon, Assistant Attorney Abby Powell, with the Vancouver City Attorney’s Office, reiterated that this wasn’t a case where Kadow intentionally abused his dog. But she said his actions were still reckless and negligent at the very least.
“This was a tragedy, but it would be a mischaracterization to call it an accident. It was preventable,” she said.
Kadow’s defense attorney Grant Cole, an associate attorney with Vancouver Defenders, argued the opposite. He described the situation as a tragic accident, not a crime.
Vancouver police responded to the 3300 block of East 21st Street at about 12:45 p.m. on May 22 after receiving a report that a dog had been dragged by a truck, and then was taken inside a residence there, according to a probable cause affidavit.
Two witnesses, Jacob and Rikki Harvilo, who testified during the trial, said they were inside their home in the 2800 block of East 28th Street when they heard a dog loudly yelping and crying. They looked outside and saw a dog hanging by a leash from the side of a truck, bouncing against the truck and pavement, the affidavit states.
Jacob Harvilo chased after the truck, hollering for the driver, later identified as Kadow, to stop. Rikki Harvilo drove after Kadow, honking her horn in an attempt to get him to stop. But he continued driving, court records said.
Rikki Harvilo saw Kadow arrive at his residence, she said, and carry the dead dog inside, according to court documents.
Police said Kadow was uncooperative during their investigation and refused to answer questions. They obtained a search warrant for the home after they were unable to get inside to check on the dog. Officers found the dead dog inside, the affidavit said.
Kadow testified Friday that his relationship with his dog was great. “Hailey became like one of our kids,” he told the jury, which saw videos and photos of Kadow and his wife playing with Hailey and loving on her.
He said the dog rarely rode in the bed of his truck and that he properly secured her. Kadow also testified that he checked his rearview mirror to make sure Hailey was OK. She was still in the bed of the truck, he said, despite witnesses claiming they saw her hanging over the side by that time.
Cole, in his closing arguments, insisted that his client had properly secured the dog. He said she may have chewed through one of her tethers or it came loose, and she jumped or fell over the side of the truck. Regardless, Cole said, an animal control officer testified during the trial that few people properly secure their dogs. It is not up to the jury, he said, to decide if the dog was properly secured.
Powell said the evidence suggests the dog was not properly secured. She also argued that there’s no way Kadow couldn’t realize he was dragging his dog, especially with the efforts made by witnesses to alert him.
When it came time for sentencing, Kadow asked the judge for leniency and said he already lost his right to own a dog. “The loss of an animal is probably the hardest thing,” he said.
His attorney added that the prosecution’s sentencing recommendation of 180 days was “entirely inappropriate.”
Judge John Hagensen told Kadow that it’s evident he lied during his testimony. “You pulled the rug out from under your attorney,” he said.
Kadow wasn’t supposed to be driving in the first place, Hagensen added, because he had a suspended license. Kadow previously pleaded guilty to that charge in relation to this case.
However, Hagensen agreed that the prosecution’s request was “somewhat onerous.” He sentenced Kadow to 90 days on the animal cruelty conviction, plus 10 days for driving with a suspended license to run consecutively. Hagensen suspended a total of 354 days of the potential sentences for two years, as a form of probation.
Kadow will additionally serve 60 days in a separate matter. He may be eligible to serve all of the time through the jail’s work-release program, which allows inmates to work outside in the community and be confined when they’re not working. He was taken into custody after sentencing.