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Teacher Arrested When His Dog Dies in School Parking Lot

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An Oregon middle school teacher was arrested after the newly adopted dog he’d left in the covered bed of his pickup truck jumped out, hanging himself by his leash.

Stoller Middle School teacher John Wickham was arrested and cited for animal neglect after his recently adopted dog, Clark, died Wednesday in the school’s parking lot.

According to a police report from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Wickham brought his dog, a 1-2 year old Labrador/Border Collie mix named Clark that he’d recently adopted from a shelter in August, to work with him because he had extra work to do and would be away from home later than usual.

It was a warm, sunny day, with temperatures in the 80’s, when Wickham left Clark in the bed of his canopy-covered pickup truck.

Around noon, when he came outside to check on the dog, Clark reportedly jumped from the truck. So, Wickham tied his leash to a tow hook inside the truck bed and left a window of the canopy cover cracked open to provide air.

Hours later, as parents were arriving to pick up their kids from the elementary school across the street, several witnessed Clark barking and behaving frantically before jumping out of the truck. Some suspect Clark was trying to escape the heat of the truck bed.

When he jumped out of the truck, Clark was hung by his leash and died.

According to KOIN, a witness told the deputy she had seen the dog jump out of the truck. She said he was struggling with his legs barely touching the ground and went into Jacob Wismer Elementary across the street to tell someone. Two women from inside the elementary school rushed to the truck and found the dog already dead.

The police report said witnesses saw Wickham come out to the truck, put the dog’s lifeless body back into the truck bed and said, “these things happen,” before returning to work.

Wickham was cited for animal neglect, but was not detained.

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