A Missouri State University quarterback has been suspended indefinitely from the football team after allegations surfaced that he broke a dog’s jaw.
The accused, sophomore quarterback Breck Ruddick, is permanently benched for “conduct detrimental to the team” according to a statement from MSU officials. The suspension and allegations of animal abuse stem from a Facebook post in which a woman claims he attacked a 42-pound Australian Shepherd named Luca, who he had apparently watched a few times before without incident.
According to the Facebook post by Shelby Filbeck, Ruddick became enraged and got “so upset” that he hit Luca “not just once but three times.” Filbeck continued, “After ‘losing his cool’ and hitting poor Luca he led him outside and let him run off, all alone and bleeding profusely.”
Ruddick told the dog’s owner, Katie Riggs (who verified that the story is accurate), that “‘Luca had ran off,’ leaving out the part about him beating the crap out of Luca. She spent the whole night looking for her dog.” Riggs found her dog the following day after a stranger found Luca in a parking lot, bleeding, and responded to her desperate pleas on Facebook. The dog was immediately rushed to the emergency vet, where he had to have surgery to treat a shattered jaw, for which six teeth had to be permanently removed. Luca has been on a soft diet of oatmeal following the brutal attack but is recovering well.
Representatives for MSU were forced to take action after an online petition to remove Ruddick from the football program gained more than 19,000 signatures:
“The office of student conduct is coordinating an investigation and will turn findings over to Athletics for team discipline and then will begin university disciplinary action if appropriate. It will be prompt, thorough and fair.”
Breck Ruddick has yet to make a public statement about the case but will most likely be at the center of animal abuse litigation in the very near future. We, for one, hope Luca gets the justice he deserves.