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San Diego

November 18, 1987

A dog whose paws were injured when a Rancho Penasquitos woman allegedly dragged it behind her car didn't pose a threat to anyone, a prosecutor said Tuesday.

Victoria Manriquez, 42, tied the stray dog to a rope that she attached to her car, then pulled the animal down the street before onlookers forced her to stop and put the bloodied animal inside, Deputy Dist. Atty. Robert Madruga said.

Blood stains from the animal, which survived, began in the street about 500 feet from Manriquez's house and ended more than half a mile away at the spot where she put the dog in her car, Madruga told jurors in his opening statement at Manriquez's trial.

Manriquez is charged with one misdemeanor count of cruelty to an animal, which is punishable by up to one year in County Jail and a $1,000 fine.

She was charged with a felony count of animal cruelty in the June 28 incident, but that charge was dismissed because prosecutors couldn't prove Manriquez intended to harm the 5-year-old Australian shepherd. Intent to harm doesn't have to be proven for Manriquez to be convicted of the misdemeanor charge.

Manriquez has said the dog appeared at her house several days earlier and she was afraid it would hurt her or her family because it had fought with the family's German shepherd.

She also said she tied the dog to her car to take it to an animal shelter because she and her 14-year-old son, who was with her, couldn't coax it inside the car. Manriquez said she was afraid the dog would bite if she tried to push it into the car.

The animal was found in a remote field in Poway, about nine miles from Manriquez's house, several hours later by authorities after the two men who forced her to put the dog inside her car reported the incident and her car's license plate number.

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