Thursday, July 29, 2010

AHA: 3 animal abuse cases in days


By Crystal Gutierrez, KRQE

Animal Humane Association officials said three badly injured pit bulls, possibly abused, were checked into their Albuquerque shelter in the past two days.

Veterinarian Michael Neal performed a very important surgery Thursday morning on a pit bull named Georgia. The happy, playful adult pit was brought to the Animal Humane Association in Albuquerque Wednesday. Georgia’s left eye was ruptured and badly infected.
“Just hurting and becoming more and more infected by the day,” Neal said. “They're tough and they're glad to get some help.”
The surgery was a success. While Georgia’s left eye is now stitched completely closed it will be able to heal.
Animal Humane Association Executive Director Peggy Weigle said she doesn’t know for sure if Georgia was abused because they can’t find here owners. However, she said the signs are there.
“She was brought in as a stray,” Weigle said. “She looked just like this, so she obviously had been cruelly handled.”
Weigle said unfortunately it's not unusual to get cases like these. However, it is unusual to get several in a matter of days.
Georgia is one of three pit bulls that were taken into the shelter in the past two days.
“It's been a little unsettling for the staff,” Weigle said.
The two other pit bulls are named Pup and Cocoa. They both have horrendous scars; some are still healing, down the middle of their backs.
“It could have been acid, it's really hard to say what it was,” Weigle said.
Cocoa's Albuquerque family was ordered to take her to the vet or be cited by animal control. The family took her to the shelter and said they would not be coming back to pick her up.
“She also had some bitey type wounds on her ears,” Weigle said.
Vet assistants tracked down Pup’s family in El Paso, Texas. The family said it didn’t know how the pit bull ended up in Albuquerque. They also claim he was not abused.
Animal Human Association officials are questioning that story.
“It looks like a chemical burn, the dog has spots on his head,” Weigle said. “It’s really hard to believe that’s from a fence.”
Weigle said the Albuquerque family may still be cited for animal cruelty. If they had not lived in the city they may have been scott free.
Weigle said for now there is not a statewide law enforcing punishment for animal cruelty.
During the last legislative session a proposed bill to change that didn’t pass. Weigle said she hopes the next time lawmakers meet that will be changed.

The pit bulls will be ready for adoption in a few weeks. For more information call (505) 255-5523.

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