A 33-year-old man has been charged under the Animal Protection Act after a dog was dragged behind a pickup truck near 114th Avenue and 92nd Street on Tuesday afternoon.

The driver has been charged with causing an animal to be in distress, which is a non-criminal offense. His court date has been set for June.

"A criminal charge requires evidence of willful intent, which does not appear to be the case in this incident," said Const. Mandy Squire in a news release sent on Friday.

Witnesses say the dog  — a six-year-old pit bull named Nalla — jumped out of the truck bed while the vehicle was moving, adding that the driver stopped as soon as he realized what had happened.

"[The driver] got out immediately, picked up the dog into his truck and took him to the animal hospital," said witness Becki Pound.

Staff at the emergency veterinary clinic treating Nalla say she had severe injuries to her paws consistent with road rash. She is now receiving around-the-clock care and has undergone several surgeries to the bottoms of her feet, say police.

The total cost for Nalla’s medical care is expected to reach $10,000.

Police say the driver does is not the lawful owner of Nalla, but she was under his care at the time of the incident.

Edmonton police are now trying to track down Nalla’s lawful owner.