BANGOR, Maine — A Brewer man accused of dragging a 6-month-old puppy behind his pickup truck in June pleaded no contest Thursday to a charge of animal cruelty.
Jeffrey Mayhew, 31, also pleaded guilty to the unrelated charges of operating under the influence of intoxicants, violation of a condition of release and unlawful possession of scheduled drugs.
In a plea agreement with Susan Pope, assistant district attorney for Penobscot County, Mayhew was sentenced to 118 days in the Penobscot County Jail and ordered to pay $1,000 in fines and more than $230 in restitution to the city of Brewer.
Mayhew also gave up his right to the dog — now named Phoenix and 9 months old — and was ordered not to own or possess a dog again.
The pit bull puppy suffered abrasions to its chest, hindquarters and paws on June 28, Pope told Superior Court Justice William Anderson on Thursday.
“Phoenix is doing well and currently in our foster-to-adopt program,” Suzan Prendergast-Bell, executive director of the Bangor Humane Society, said Thursday in an email.
She said the adoption of Phoenix would be finalized in a few weeks.
Mayhew did not address the judge, but his attorney, Robert Van Horn of Ellsworth, told Anderson that his client did not intentionally drag the dog about two-tenths of a mile before stopping.
“My client visited a friend that day, and because it was summer, he tied the dog to the back bumper,” Van Horn said. “He hurried out, drove off and forgot about the dog. There is no evidence he wanted to hurt the dog.”
Pope agreed with that but said that by driving off with the dog tied to his bumper, Mayhew was negligent. She said if the case had gone to trial, the prosecution would have introduced evidence that Mayhew “was impaired” when he dragged the puppy.
Van Horn denied that Mayhew was impaired when he drove the truck that day but admitted his client should not have been driving because of a May 7 drunken driving charge. Mayhew pleaded guilty to that charge Thursday.
Mayhew has been held at the Penobscot County Jail for 82 days, Van Horn said. He is expected to be released in about a month depending on how much good time he has earned.
He faced up to a year in prison and a fine of up to $2,000 on the animal cruelty charge, a Class D misdemeanor.