'Grand Canyon Grandfather' charged with animal neglect

INDIANAPOLIS - A man previously convicted of child abuse  was taken into custody Tuesday afternoon on a charge of animal cruelty.

Officials said Christopher Carlson did not immediately seek medical help for his dog after he ran him over and instead opted to "self-treat" the animal.

Carlson was advised to take the dog to a vet to be evaluated after he contacted Indianapolis Animal Care and Control about his "animal rights" on Nov. 30.

IACC received a complaint from Carlson’s cousin on Dec. 2 about the dog’s condition. His cousin said she cared for Carlson’s two dogs while he was in jail. She said she had noticed a huge decline in the older dog’s health. The dog had trouble standing and was urinating and defecating on itself, documents said.

When officials with IACC went to check on the dog later that day, they couldn’t reach Carlson or see the dog, but they left three different notices on his door, court documents said.

Carlson called IACC back on Dec. 3 and told them he had the dog euthanized. Records showed that Carlson did speak with a veterinarian prior to euthanasia.

The records showed that Carlson eventually contacted a vet and told her that he ran over Wylie, his 14-year-old German shepherd/mix, as he was lying in the driveway "two weeks to two months prior."

Carlson told the vet he thought Wylie was healing, but she advised him that the incident was grounds for neglect. 

Officials with the Marion County Prosecutor's Office said because Carlson admitted he ran over the dog up to two months before bringing him to see a vet, he endangered the animal's health and the animal suffered, which constitutes neglect.

Carlson was accused of child neglect in September 2011 . Police said he forced his grandchildren, who were 12, 9 and 8 years old at the time, on a 19-mile hike through the Grand Canyon. Authorities said the boys were dehydrated, bruised and blistered.

The boys told police they had been hit, pushed, choked, whipped, forced to vomit and denied food and water while hiking in the 108-degree temperatures.

Carlson was sentenced to a 27-month prison term in June 2012, but he received credit for nearly 10 months that he had already served.

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