A “dog-loving” father has claimed he dragged a dog six miles to its death in a “tragic accident”.
The Porsche driver faced threats of violence from animal lovers after the horrific story of the beagle-collie cross’s death broke.
The dog was dragged along the A27 from Devil’s Dyke to Southwick behind the Porsche Carrera.
After handing himself in to police, the father-of-three released a statement through his solicitor claiming he had been involved in a “terrible set of circumstances”.
Forensic experts seized the Porsche and are currently analysing it to try and see if the dog could have become accidentally tangled in the engine.
The 33-year-old Worthing man’s solicitor said his client was driving down a country road on his way home from London.
He added: “The dog had got loose that afternoon while it was being taken for a walk and was in the middle of the road.
“It was wearing a leash which extended several metres in length.
“While he was driving past the leash became entangled in the exhaust system of the vehicle, dragging the dog behind him.
“The driver was completely unaware of what had happened.
"He stopped to check his car several times because he heard a sound and thought there might be something wrong with his brakes.
"However he did not see the animal behind him.
“He went to the car park near Devil’s Dyke because he wanted to use the toilet at a nearby pub.
"He turned round in the car park and drove on.
“Eventually the driver stopped at the lay-by by Southwick Tunnel because people had been flashing and hooting at him.
“He untied the animal, but did not even realise it was a dog. He was so shocked by it he drove away.
“My client is a dog lover and is completely devastated by what has happened.”
The man’s wife, Karen Sadler, 42, said she had loaned her Belgian husband her £40,000 car, and convinced him to hand himself in to police after The Argus broke the story on Monday evening (November 21).
She said: “Stupidly, he told me that because the dog was dead, there was nothing he could do for it, so he dumped it in the lay-by.
“He’s from Belgium and didn’t realise that he should have reported it to the police.”
After keeping the suspect in custody overnight, he was released from Worthing Police station without charge yesterday (November 22).
He was bailed until December 14 while officers examine his car and try to establish the dog’s cause of death.
A witness first reported seeing the Porsche with the dog chained to the back at the Devil’s Dyke car park at about 10pm on Sunday, November 20.
At about 10.30pm, another witness was overtaken by the sports car as it dragged the animal through the Southwick Tunnel, before pulling in to a lay-by.
The dog’s owners are thought not to even know that their pet has been killed.
More than 1,000 people have joined a Facebook group Justice for Little Pup, set up by horrified witness Mike Walsh, to express their shock at the incident.