Tuesday, June 22, 2010

7 pit bulls rescued from near death in Bainbridge

By LeiLani Golden, WALB

Authorities in Decatur County rescued seven pit bulls they say were tethered and left to die.
Animal control officers and the director of the Bainbridge-Decatur County Humane Society responded to concerned neighbors' calls about the abandoned dogs.
They said it had been weeks since they saw anyone go onto the property located on Florence Drive off Whigham Dairy Road to care for the dogs.
Some dogs were too weak to walk and several were tethered with little room to move.
Investigators think the dogs' owners may have been arrested and failed to mention they had the dogs that needed to be cared for.

Update June 22, 2010 5:00pm - The following article is by Carol Heard and Brennan Leathers, The Post-Searchlight:

Eck: Second worst case

Seven dogs held by heavy chains with less than a foot of lead, so thin and weak that they couldn’t stand to eat and left to fend for themselves in months were rescued Monday evening in what one official said was the second worst case of dog abuse she’s witnessed.
Beth Eck, director of the Bainbridge-Decatur County Humane Society, said that Monday evening’s rescue of the seven pitbull-mixed dogs was the second worst case of dog abuse in her years witnessing this.
“They looked like they had been there a long time,” Eck said.
The dogs were located in a wooded area where neighbors told officials that someone would come around to check on the dogs, but after about three months, Eck said the person who finally notified 911 said they didn’t see the dogs being checked on and that’s when they called 911.
The worst case of animal abuse was a couple of years ago when 25 abused dog used for fighting were rescued.
On Monday evening, Eck and Decatur County Sheriff’s deputies found one dog chained to a pole and was stuck awkwardly atop of a pallet that had been leaned up against the pole.
“Of course, anything tethered gets stuck,” Eck said.
Another dog—which had to be euthanized Tuesday morning—was so weak from starving that he couldn’t stand on his hind legs to eat, which Eck said was perhaps the first time the dog had any chance of food in weeks.
On Monday evening, the Sheriff’s Office received a complaint concerning dogs that appeared to be neglected, said Lt. Rick Ashley. Responding to a property on Florence Drive, off Whigham Dairy Road, deputies found seven pitbulls that were not being cared for, tethered and chained in an enclosure.
The deputies called County Animal Control Officer Chris Sapp, who notified Eck. The dogs were rescued and taken to the Humane Society’s Animal Shelter in Bainbridge.
Of the seven dogs—five males and two females—two had to be euthanized.
On Tuesday, the dogs were friendly to Eck and one in fact had kneeled down to have its stomach rubbed. One dog, was not aggressive to Eck, but to other dogs.
Lt. Ashley said he had been working on the case all day Tuesday, attempting to locate the dog’s owners. At the present time, it’s not known who owned the dogs or why they were being kept there, but the Sheriff’s Office is continuing to investigate, Ashley said.

Update June 24, 2010 1:14pm - The following article is by Iram Ali, WCTV:

Man Arrested in Pit Bull Cruelty Case
Several pit bulls were found malnourished waiting to die in an abandoned lot, and now authorities say they have the culprit behind bars.
Decatur County Sheriff's Investigators arrested 46-year-old Terry Jackson Wednesday night.
Investigators say Bernard is responsible for leaving the dogs tethered and padlocked to heavy chains. He's charged with seven counts of cruelty to animals.
Authorities say five of the seven dogs had to be euthanized because of their condition.
Officials say if you suspect any type of animal abuse call your local police or humane society and report it right away. They say these dogs were abandoned for weeks, and if someone called right away they may have had a better chance to live.

Update June 24, 2010 4:03pm - The following article is by Brennen Leathers, The Post-Searchlight:

The Decatur County Sheriff’s Office has charged a man with animal cruelty in connection with deputies’ discovery on Monday of seven pit bulls left abandoned and severely neglected.
Forty-six-year-old Terry Bernard Jackson, of 116 Screen St. in the Fowlstown community, was arrested shortly before midnight on Wednesday, according to the Decatur County Jail.
Jackson is charged with seven counts of cruelty to animals, and two probation violations—one on the original charge of driving with a suspended license and another on the original charge of dogfighting.
The cruelty to animals charges stems from the discovery of the seven pit bulls, who were in very poor health after being abandoned and uncared for at a property on Florence Avenue, off Whigham Dairy Road. Deputies and County Animal Control Officer Chris Sapp went to the property Monday night and rescued the dogs from the bad situation with the assistance of the Bainbridge-Decatur County Humane Society.
However, according to Lt. Rick Ashley of the Sheriff’s Office, two of the dogs that were rescued eventually had to be euthanized because of their poor medical condition.
Lt. Ashley, who coordinates the department’s animal control and code enforcement operations and had been working on the case since Tuesday morning, said deputies had attempted to arrest Jackson on Wednesday afternoon at his mother’s residence on Screen Street in Fowlstown. However, Jackson allegedly ran out of the home’s back door when he saw deputies coming up the driveway.
On Wednesday night, Sgt. Patrick Trolinger and other deputies apprehended Jackson at his girlfriend’s residence on Whigham Dairy Road, Ashley said.
Deputies brought Jackson back to the Sheriff’s Office, where he was questioned and confessed to having owned and cared for the dogs, Ashley said Thursday. According to Ashley, Jackson stated that he had stopped feeding and caring for the dogs after losing his job. Jackson stated to deputies that he estimated it had been about 10 days to two weeks since he had last checked on the dogs.
However, according to Beth Eck, director of the Humane Society’s Animal Shelter, the dogs were noticeably malnourished and appeared to have been abandoned for at least one to three months.
Under Georgia law, cruelty to animals is a misdemeanor offense. The law provides penalties of up to a year in jail or up to $5,000 in fines upon a second or subsequent offense.

Update June 25, 2010 3:33pm - The following article is by LeiLani Golden, WALB:

6 of 7 rescued pit bulls euthanized in Bainbridge

Bainbridge Humane Society workers euthanized all but one of seven neglected pit bulls they took in this week.
46-year old Terry Bernard Jackson confessed to leaving the dogs tethered in an abandoned lot without food or water for weeks.
Humane Society workers tell us most of the dogs were severely malnourished and the others were simply too aggressive to be adopted.
One pit bull remains at the shelter.
Workers say that dog is significantly healthier than the rest and not aggressive, giving hope that someone may adopt it.

Update June 28, 2010 9:15pm - The following article is by Iram Ali, WCTV:

Sad Ending for Rescued Pit Bulls
A sad ending for several pit bulls who were rescued last week,
Bainbridge Humane Society officials say all seven of the dogs that were rescued have been euthanized.
Officials say the dogs were discovered tethered and padlocked to an abandoned building, and they suspect the animals were there for weeks.
They say by the time they were rescued, the pit bulls were too malnourished, aggressive and dehydrated to be rehabilitated.
Officials urge folks to report any type of animal abuse as soon as they suspect it. They say the time difference can save a life.
Decatur County Investigators have charged the owner with seven counts of animal cruelty.

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