Wednesday, October 21, 2009

97 Dogs Seized in Laurens Co, GA

A CNN crew tagged along on a police raid of a rural property in GA where authorities suspected dogs may have been used in dogfighting. (Video of the raid here.) The owner has been charged with animal cruelty and CNN reports the dogs are being evaluated by Vets for physical signs of dogfighting.

Most of the dogs were pit bull terriers; many were puppies. They were found cowering in cages or chained. Some older dogs were scarred -- possible signs of fighting, investigators said. Others were malnourished, simply skin and bone.

Their conditions were atrocious, according to Terry Wolf of the Dublin-Laurens County Humane Society.

"Their chains are too short to reach shelter, those who have shelter. The water that they have seems to be recent rainwater with algae in it, and I've seen no food bowls. Most of them are very timid," Wolf said. "They seem to be human-friendly, but they're attention starved, and they're definitely not socialized. You can tell they've been living hidden in the woods, out of sight."

Irene Sumner, director of the Dublin-Laurens County Humane Society, talked through tears, overcome before the count had been completed.

She told us about a puppy found dead and tossed aside into a used plastic bag.

The seized dogs were taken to an undisclosed location:

Volunteers feared one puppy wouldn't make it through the night.

The next step for these dogs is to determine which ones are healthy enough to possibly be adopted. Some, sadly, won't share that fate. They'll have to be put down.
If they are malnourished, as some appear to be in the video, that can be fixed. I don't know what other problems the dogs might have which would require euthanasia, but unless they are medically hopeless and suffering, I hope they will at least be given a chance. The article doesn't provide any information on whether the owner has signed over the dogs or the county has otherwise been granted custody. That issue needs to be sorted out before anyone starts killing anything.

This article seems to offer additional information on the case:
[Sgt. Robbie] Toney says they did not find training equipment or scars on the dogs consistent with dog-fighting.
Eventually the courts will decide whether to put down some of the dogs or even give them back to Loyd [the owner].
Meantime, the dogs are in the care of the Dublin-Laurens Humane Society. Supplies or monetary donations are being sought for the dogs' care:
For information on how to donate you can call 478-272-5341.

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