Knoxville police investigating after dog thrown off Alcoa Highway overpass

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – A dog is recovering after being thrown off a highway overpass as police search for information on the perpetrator.

The Knoxville Police Department is asking for the public’s help to identify the suspect after a dog was thrown off the Alcoa Highway overpass near Tyson Park around 3 a.m. Monday.

“It really was a stroke of luck that an officer was right there,” Janet Testerman, CEO of Young-Williams Animal Center, said.

A police report notes the KPD officer was underneath the overpass finishing paperwork. The report says the officer heard a deep male voice, a loud thud and then a dog whining a few yards in front of his patrol car.

“You kind of go through different emotions, it’s anger initially. It’s like how could somebody do this,” Scott Erland with the Knoxville Police Department said.

Officers loaded the injured dog into the patrol car and took her to the University of Tennessee veterinarian facility. She is expected to live and be transferred to Young-Williams Animal Center.

“They’re doing X-rays. They’re doing a full medical evaluation, seeing if there are any internal injuries; keeping her comfortable. But with the orthopedic issues that we’re looking at right now, there’s likely going to be some rehab,” Testerman said.

Investigators say they measured from the top of the overpass to the ground. It was roughly a 30-foot drop.

“Obviously this is animal cruelty and people react very viscerally to that,” Erland said.

The puppy is estimated to be between 1 to 2 years old, and she’ll likely be up for adoption.

“It may be that she goes into a medical foster situation with us and given that it is a cruelty investigation. She will remain in our custody until that investigation is concluded before she’s even available,” explained Testerman.

She says right now the puppy’s name is Good Sam dog or Good Samaritan.

“It doesn’t matter how much it costs. We are absolutely going to give this puppy a second chance, get her whole and get her healthy,” Testerman said.

Young-Williams Animal Center says there’s a way you can help by making a financial donation to their Animal Compassion Fund. Those resources help pay for medical treatments and therapy for pets in animal cruelty cases.

If you have any information on the incident, you’re urged to call the Crime Hotline at 865-215-7212 or the Animal Control Unit at 865-215-8640. Callers can remain anonymous.

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