Kathy Hynes, a rescuer in Raeford, NC, saw an emaciated Pitbull chained to a tree in someone’s yard last month while she was out walking her own dog. She and a person who lived next to the emaciated dog went to the magistrate’s office on March 9 to file cruelty charges against the owner. A subpoena was issued (but never served) on March 9. AC was notified of the dog’s plight the following day and took him from the yard to the Hoke Co Animal Shelter. According to shelter records, his weight upon intake was 52.5 pounds and his temperature was 101 degrees.
Ms. Hynes repeatedly offered to pay for vetting for the dog, whom she named Ray, but the shelter refused her offers. She visited Ray on March 30 and found him shivering in an outdoor run in the rain with heavy winds and temperatures in the 40s. When she called the following day to check on him, a shelter worker told her he’d been vomiting for days. Ray was taken to a vet later that day:
Medical records for April 1 showed Ray was not eating, was losing his balance and had vomited in his kennel earlier that day. His weight was 49.6 pounds – a loss of nearly 3 pounds since he had arrived at the shelter. His temperature was 92.9 degrees.
According to the medical records, Ray died April 2, after passing blood from his rectum.
Records indicate the cause of death was possibly heartworms. Yeah, possibly. Also possible: severe blood loss after being stabbed by a unicorn.
The dog was in the shelter’s care for 3 weeks with an offer to pay for veterinary care. Had the shelter accepted this offer and/or had they made sure a dog with no body fat was protected from the cold, Ray might be alive today. These are no brainers and wouldn’t have cost the shelter any money or manpower. Letting the emaciated dog sit there, shivering in the cement floor outdoor run, vomiting while an offer for vetting was on the table is inexcusable.
Ms. Hynes complained to county manager Tim Johnson as she had offered to pay for Ray’s vetting and the shelter should have cared for him humanely – providing him with adequate shelter and making an effort to keep the emaciated dog warm:
Johnson said he takes exception to some of Hynes’ accusations.
“When you look at the pictures of the dog, that dog was in pretty rough shape when it got there,” he said. “This dog was taken from a home for cruelty. I can’t help but think that, looking at the pictures, it was in really rough shape when we got it.”
Also, he’s investigating the matter.
Let me gaze into my Crystal Ball of Stupid and see if I can guess what the result of this investigation will be. Ah yes, coming clearer now: Dog would have died anyway. Also, heartworms. And also, also: not in any way our fault.