Magistrate court awards local shelter custody of July intake

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During the later month of July, Betty Gambrell Animal Shelter staff responded to a Fulmer Lane address in Twin City in reference to an intake request. According to information provided, the callers stated smelling an awful smell as if something dead may have been drug up to the household by the involved dog. Upon arrival of shelter staff, the dog was apprehended, and it was then learned that the strong odor reported was actually coming from the dog itself.

The involved dog, a male, Asian shephard, multi-colored, weighed 77.4 lbs. at time of intake and had severe injuries to its back.

Medical care was rendered by Dr. Wesley McRae, DVM, who performed an overall health evaluation and examined and applied wound care to the large canine. According to documentation from this visit, it was recorded that the dog suffered severe injuries on his back and was flea infested. The two lesions on the back of the dog was measured to be 6”x 3” and 3”x 2”. Hair was reported missing on both lesions and appeared to be black in color, indicating necrotic (dead or dying) flesh present. The wounds were severely infected underneath the dead skin and drainage was present, and appeared to be caustic in nature, indicating possible burn results by some agent. Medication and care instructions were provided to shelter staff and the dog’s care was turned back over to the animal shelter. The diagnosis given was severe, traumatic, contact dermatitis – caustic in nature with sever secondary bacterial infection.

After being under the care of Betty Gambrell Animal Shelter for almost one month, the dog, now known as Dallas, returned to McRae’s vet clinic for a re-check examination. In the short time frame, the second report provided by Dr. McRae detailed that Dallas appeared to be bright, alert, responsive, and had a normal temperature. In comparison to Dallas’ first visit, all wounds were healed by the second visit, no infection was reported present, and health scar tissue formation was reported and not deemed concerning. Since the primary visit in July, Dallas had since gained seven pounds. Finalizing the report, Dr. McRae documented, “Due to the diligent care by the Swainsboro Animal Control in administering the medications prescribed by McRae Veterinary Clinic, Dallas has fully recovered from the severe wounds that were present a month ago and is doing great.”

On Thursday, August 27, Dallas’ case was brought before the Honorable Magistrate Court Judge Dawn Braddy, who was sitting in for the Honorable Judge Ronald Wiggins. Judge Braddy provided opportunity for both parties to speak, which involved shelter manager Leta Fuentes and the dog’s owner, Connie Dowd.

Fuentes provided detailed information and records obtained from the vet’s office as well as that of the shelter. Photos and current status of Dallas were also displayed to Judge Braddy.

Dowd stated that the involved dog, Dallas, was a stray that she had taken in and admitted to knowledge of one “skin mark” but did not admit to knowledge of all documented wounds.

Emanuel County Humane Society had also provided statement that Dallas, if released to Dowd, would not be considered to be in the right home to receive proper care.

After further discussion on the matter and provided evidence from both Fuentes and Dowd were presented and viewed by Judge Braddy, the final ruling was that Dallas would be better off if placed with another home that could provide better supervision.

“Canines and other animals have no voice. We have to speak for them,” Judge Braddy stated as she announced the final verdict for Dallas’ case.

Judge Braddy ordered Dowd to repay the shelter for associated care cost of Dallas since the July intake, which ranged close to an approximate $480 but waived immediate payment be made. Instead, Dowd was ordered repayment be made through the completion of 40 hours community service of three months or less.

The Betty Gambrell Animal Shelter has many pets for adoption. Just recently, on National Dog Day, August 26, a walk-through of the shelter featuring adoptable dogs as well as recent shelter renovations made live appearance on Facebook. This footage can be located by visiting Emanuel County Live on Facebook. Please note, the shelter is in need of donations of puppy and canned dog food, but all donations are greatly appreciated. To inquire more information on possible adoptions or ways to donate or volunteer a helping hand, contact the shelter at 478-237-4040.

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