Animal cruelty charges have been filed against a Monmouth County man who allegedly drove off with his dog tied to his vehicle.

 

chihuahua (Chris Weeks/Getty Images)

The Asbury Park Press reports that Highlands police spotted the year-old Chihuahua late Friday night and stopped the vehicle. The driver, 49-year-old Keith Guastamacchia of Middletown Township, is the small dog's owner.

Officials say Guastmacchia told police that he had stopped his car so the dog could relieve itself. He tied the dog to the side of the car, but soon began arguing on his cellphone with a friend and inadvertently drove away with the dog still attached to the car.

The dog was taken to a veterinary hospital for treatment of substantial injuries.

A telephone number for Guastamacchia could not be located Sunday.

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