EXCLUSIVE: Pops Concert Dog Owner Comes Clean
SAN ANGELO, TX — For over 30 years San Angelo and the Concho Valley has celebrated Independence Day with the majestic sounds of the San Angelo Symphony with the fireworks display at the annual Pops Concert at the Bill Aylor Sr. Memorial Riverstage, usually held around the 4th of July. This year's event was July 3.
The 2019 celebration is likely to be remembered not by what happened on the stage or in the air, but of a video that surfaced the day after capturing a man striking his German Shepard service dog. The spectacle was recorded and circulated through social media.
The video sent waves through West Texas, and for 71-year-old Vietnam Army Veteran Jerry Newsome, it was a day he'll never forget.
WATCH: The video that started it all for Newsome:
"I'm most definitely sorry because of the fact that I'm still reeling and crying from losing her," said Newsome. "It's like losing a child. I loved her."
Newsome who served in the Vietnam War as a truck driver hauling napalm suffers from PTSD along with a few other physical ailments.
According to Newsome, he's owned the canine named Princess for about a year now and likes to take her for daily walks in the park. Princess was his service dog.
Newsome explained that Princess had been challenging a 100-pound pull leash that day. The video showed that when she pulled him down. That is why the video showed Newsome lying next to Princess as Newsome said he hit the dog.
Newsome said he regrets his actions. He said he put himself and his dog in a position around big crowds and loud noises. Neither were good for Newsome or Princess.
"I realize that I shouldn't have taken her in that area," said Newsome. "That was a mistake. I just didn't realize when I got down there how bad it would affect her. After the incident, I took her down the river away from it."
In explaining his remorse for his actions, Newsome added that the size of Princess may have been too much for him to handle.
"I felt bad about what I did because I lost my animal, and I loved that animal," said Newsome. "I realized that she was too big for me and that I shouldn't have gotten her to begin with."
On Saturday, Newsome turned over the German Shepard to Broken Arrow German Shepard Rescue Ranch in Christoval.
According to the shelter, Princess, who turns four at the end of August, is doing fine and over the next weeks will be assessed to determine whether she'll be a companion dog or a service dog in the future.
The rescue ranch added that as far as the physical health of Princess is concerned all of her vet and shots records were up to date.
Moving forward, Newsome says he will be following up with his behavioral therapist for further evaluation to determine if he'll be fit for another service dog. Newsome says a smaller dog that he could handle would be best.
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