Keith Guastamacchia, charged with animal cruelty for dragging his small dog outside his car says it was unintentional and upsetting.

Roxy (ABC 7)

The 49-year-old Middletown man admits to ABC 7 he was distracted and simply forgot that he had put Roxy, a 4-and-a-half pound mixed breed dog outside of his car when he pulled over to let her go to the bathroom and he made a call on his cell phone.
"I'm a lovely person. I would never hurt a fly," and told the television station that when he realized that he forgot to put the dog back in the car he panicked. "Oh my God!' I started screaming, crying. It was horrible. A horrific tragedy for my dog and myself."

Guastamacchia said that he, his girlfriend and her five children had been evicted from their home earlier that day.

Monmouth County SPCA Chief Humane Law Enforcement Officer Victor "Buddy" Amato found Guastamacchia to be "Very upset, very concerned about the dog, and remorseful" about his "negligent" action. He says Roxy will likely be returned to his owner and does not believe it was intentional. "For a 4-and-a-half-pound dog, it's remarkable how good (Roxy) is doing," he said

Guastamacchia has a court date at the end of April and will have to pay for Roxy's recovery from scratches. He tells ABC 7 that the pads on her paws are also gone as a result of the incident.