Edmonton police have charged a man in his 30s under the Animal Protection Act, in connection to a dog-dragging incident on the city’s north side earlier this week.

On Friday, police said they had charged a 33-year-old man with causing an animal to be in distress.

The investigation began Tuesday, after police were called to the area of 92 Street and 114 Avenue.

Witnesses said the dog appeared to be tied to the back of the truck, and was dragged for several metres.

Karim Rushdy witnessed the entire incident; he was in the car with some family members when they saw a pickup truck pass by that day.

“The truck just turned in front of us, and there was a dog attached to the neck by the leash, being pulled by the truck,” Rushdy said. “Even the image of that, just to talk about it, is kind of harsh.

“We were all basically freaking out, my mom was honking on the horn, and this went on for about a block.”

Rushdy said the driver stopped – and came out of his truck to see what happened.

“As soon as he saw what was happening, his face changed,” Rushdy said. “He looked scared.”

Police said the driver dropped the dog off at a downtown emergency vet clinic.

She was later transferred to Animal Control, where she is currently recuperating from serious injuries.

“The pads on her paws were worn off, her nails were worn right down, and there was a knee that had abrasions and cuts,” Animal Control director James Wilke said.

The lead investigator on the case said the current charge is non-criminal – and for criminal charges to be laid there would have to be evidence of willful intent, something police said they don’t have.

The 6-year-old female American Staffordshire terrier, which police said is named Nalla, was in the care of the accused when the incident occurred, however, police said he is not the owner of the dog – and police have not yet worked out who actually owns the dog.

“There is some confusion as to who lawfully owns the animal, so that still needs to be determined,” Investigator Const. Mandy Squire said in a press release. “The dog is currently receiving 24-hour medical care, including numerous surgeries to heal the bottom of her paws.

“She will be in care for several weeks. During that time, we will continue to investigate ownership, and to determine if she is to be placed for adoption.”

Police said they’re still finalizing how the public can help cover Nalla’s medical costs – which could end up being as high as $10,000, once that is done, the information will be shared on the Edmonton Police Service Facebook page.

The accused has been scheduled to appear in court in June, to face a fine that has yet to be determined.

With files from Ashley Molnar