MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Texas Deputy constables said early Friday a Splendora man was under arrest after he dragged a donkey behind an SUV and then left it injured on the roadside.

Pct. 4 Livestock Deputy Constable Dwayne Morrow said Marc Richard Saunders, 30, faces a felony charge of animal cruelty.

Investigators said the 2-year-old donkey, named Susie Q, wandered onto a neighboring property Thursday afternoon and Saunders went with a friend to retrieve her for her owner.

>> View a photo slideshow of Susie Q

Instead of walking the donkey back, Saunders allegedly tied Susie Q to his trailer hitch and started driving. A friend rode in the back of the SUV and said at first the donkey could keep up, but Saunders started to speed up until the donkey refused to walk any further.

The friend said the donkey locked its legs as it was dragged for about a quarter-mile on Acorn Hill toward Pickering Road, exposing raw flesh and bone on its hooves. The entire time the suspect s friend said he pleaded for him to stop the vehicle.

Saunders eventually stopped and untied the donkey near its owner s home and sped away, Pct. 4 said.

The donkey was drug probably 50 to 70 feet, said Precinct 4 Constable Kenneth Rowdy Hayden.

The donkey s owner Rachel Jackson was devastated.

I found her in the middle of the road in a pool of blood, couldn t figure out where she was hurt, or what was hurt, she said.

A veterinarian, who happened to be passing by, treated the injured donkey at the scene before it was transported home.

He did it out of the goodness of his heart, he left us his phone number if we needed him, gave her a shot (and) pain medication to keep her comfortable, she said.

The vet said it wasn t clear if Susie Q would be able to recover from her injuries.

Jackson said she can t believe a man she considered a nephew would do such a thing. She said she is glad he faces of a felony charge of animal cruelty.

Chief Deputy Barry Welch said livestock deputies play an important role in the county.

Constable Hayden and I are thankful to have experienced livestock deputies, Welch said. Most people would probably be surprised at how many livestock calls we receive.

Fortunately, this extreme abuse was an unusual case, he said. But we do respond to abuse calls and neglect calls regularly, as well as the frequent traffic hazard calls when large animals get out on the road and are a danger to themselves and drivers.

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