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Crime & Courts

Dog rescued after being hung from fence is doing well, Anchorage animal control says

A black Labrador retriever that police said was choked by an Anchorage man and rescued after being hung from a fence by its leash on Thursday is now recovering, an animal control official said Monday.

"The dog is in our care and doing well," said Laura Atwood, public relations coordinator at Anchorage Animal Care and Control.

The male dog was taken to an emergency veterinary clinic Thursday night, and then to Anchorage animal control, Atwood said, where the agency's veterinarian looked at him and verified that the animal was doing OK.

The dog will remain in animal control's care pending the resolution of the criminal investigation against 39-year-old Christopher Baker, who investigators said harmed the animal. Atwood said the agency could not release any images of the dog.

Baker has been in custody at the Anchorage jail since Friday. He faces a charge of cruelty to animals and two counts of failure to stop at the direction of an officer.

On the evening of May 31, according to charging documents filed Friday, Baker was seen driving around 90 mph inbound toward Anchorage on the Glenn Highway.

Baker, who was driving a red Toyota Echo, didn't pull over when the officer tried to do a traffic stop. Instead, Baker drove onto Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, went through the gates, and then did a U-turn, getting back onto the highway.

The officer "had to disengage for public safety" as Baker sped off, charging documents say.

Two other officers saw Baker driving inbound on Fifth Avenue, past the Airport Heights neighborhood, charging documents say, but when they tried to stop him, Baker began driving recklessly and running red lights, so the officers also stopped the pursuit for public safety reasons.

Just after 10 p.m., police got a call that Baker had been seen hanging a black Labrador outside of a residence at the 100-block of Eagle Street.

Officers arrived to find Baker "in the process of hanging the dog while telling the dog to relinquish his sins," charging documents say.

Baker "appeared to be high on some type of drug that gave him superhuman strength," charging documents say, and a number of officers were needed to subdue him.

Baker referred to himself as "God," according to documents. He was taken to a local hospital for evaluation.

Anchorage police said they could not confirm who owns the dog.

Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated Laura Atwood's last name. 

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