Eck: Second worst case

Published 7:21 pm Tuesday, June 22, 2010

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.

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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.