Charges for woman who ran Chihuahua by car

September 21, 2011 6:33:47 AM PDT
A dog-sitter's shortcut led to criminal charges for a Colorado woman who ran a Chihuahua alongside her car at 10 to 15 mph.

The Daily Camera reports that 29-year-old Joan Renee Zalk of Boulder faces animal cruelty and felony menacing charges after witnesses confronted her Friday morning for running the pup alongside her Toyota Camry.

The newspaper reports that Zalk told officers the dog, named Cooper, "goes ballistic" if it doesn't walk 3 miles a day.

Witnesses called police after seeing the leashed dog struggling to keep up with the car. Zalk reportedly said the dog was fine.

Zalk is free on bond. Cooper was uninjured and was taken to a local shelter. The dog was expected to be released to its owner, who was out of town at the time of the incident.