The man in a social media video showing what many thought was a dog being abandoned by its owner is speaking out. He says he never owned the dog, and loves animals.
Robert “Danny” Powell said he was on his daily walk near Lake Ming when a dog approached him. He says the video circulating on social media does not portray what really took place.
“Everyone that knows me knows that I like animals and I’m not going to do that to one,” Powell said.
Powell, who said he does not, nor has ever owned a black dog, was on the walk to take care of his health. Just over a month ago, he was diagnosed with kidney cancer; he notes daily walks him in the recovery process.
“We were driving along lake Ming behind the camp up there and we saw a stray dog up by the gates, and we stopped to see what it was doing,” he said, recalling what happened on Wednesday morning. “It looked like somebody had dropped it off. So we fed it a little peanut butter thing, and [then[ the dog started following us, jumping on the car, acting all excited. I felt bad because it was a good dog,” he continued.
After that, he said, the dog followed the car. Powell said he then got out once more to interact with the animal. It was then when the video was taken showing Powell interact with the dog, according to Powell.
The black Labrador mix was eventually picked up by officers with Kern County Animal Services and taken KCAS headquarters where a representative said the animal underwent a health evaluation and is doing well.
Animal Services launched an investigation and went to Powell’s house where they searched his property. Powell said investigators did not find any evidence that a dog ever lived there.
Now, he wants his reputation restored.
“Taking a dog out there and letting it starve, that’s not right,” he said. “I mean whoever did that, they need to be punished for what they did instead of someone else getting in trouble. I’m a good guy altogether. I like animals, never done that to animals, never would, never would want to.”
The dog, since named Anakin, will be up for adoption at Kern County Animal Services starting on Monday.