Man accused of dragging dog through McCarran in court for 2015 charges

David Updike appears in court Wednesday, November 1, 2017, at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas. (Bradford Boyer/KSNV)

The man accused of dragging his dog through McCarran International Airport is facing a felony animal abuse charge and is expected to go to trial.

David Updike, who owns a 7-pound chihuahua named Chase, is facing a felony animal cruelty charge for how he has treated Chase for the past few years.

Witnesses said Updike dragged his dog through McCarran’s Terminal 1 on Oct. 27.

In court on Tuesday morning, the 50-year-old appeared for an August 2015 cruelty case where he is accused of locking Chase in a hot car back outside Sam’s Town.

RELATED | POLICE: Dog owner dragged his leashed chihuahua through McCarran airport

In court, Updike repeatedly told Judge Ann E. Zimmerman that he wanted to plead no contest to the charges and close the case, but Zimmerman said that offer is not on the table and appointed a public defender to represent him.

This case is among the four active warrants Updike had when he was arrested at McCarran last week.

A three-page arrest report says an officer heard travelers in Terminal 1 screaming, "He's killing the dog!" Police say he dragged Chase away, with the leash on. Witnesses saw Chase panting and gasping for air.

Legislation known as Cooney's Law was passed in 2011 which makes certain cases of animal cruelty a felony.

Updike is due back in court for a bench trial in this matter on Nov. 15. He will be in court for the McCarran incident on Nov. 14.

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