Health Department cites MSU QB for animal cruelty

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - The Animal Control division of the Springfield-Greene County Health Department cited Missouri State University quarterback Breck Ruddick on Monday after its investigation of animal abuse claims. The municipal ordinance citations are for animal cruelty and allowing a dog to run at large.

Ruddick's neighbor says the citations are for what happened to her Australian shepherd, Luca, last week. She says Ruddick was watching her dog and shattered its jaw.

An incident report released by Springfield-Greene County Health Department says Ruddick admitted to beating the dog, according to text messages received by the dog's owner. Additionally, the report says the dog required surgery at a cost of $1,500.

Ruddick is suspended indefinitely for conduct detrimental to the team, according to MSU football head coach Dave Steckel. The suspension was announced on Friday afternoon and Ruddick did not play on Saturday.

The university's Office of Student Conduct is coordinating an investigation and will turn findings over to the Athletics Department for its discipline, and then will begin university disciplinary action, if appropriate. MSU says the investigation is a top priority for it and the football coaches, and will be prompt, thorough and fair.

Steckel says Ruddick will not play in any games until the situation is resolved.

The case is still ongoing. Detectives could seek other charges.