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Saturday, February 2, 2008

Officers find skeleton of chained dog

Animal control officers found a dog skeleton chained to a concrete block and a dead puppy wrapped in a garbage bag at a condemned house in Decatur this week.

Animal Services Director Mindy Gilbert said officers rescued two other adult pit bull dogs and three puppies from 1302 Pisgah Road S.E. on Monday afternoon. The two adult dogs will probably be euthanized because of health problems, she said.

Gilbert said she didn’t know how long the animals had been abandoned, but their owner, 23-year-old Lakenya Elliott, will face criminal charges.

“This is somebody who abandoned the dogs there and knew they were there,” Gilbert said. “One of the dogs was the skeletal remains of an adult dog chained up in the backyard. ... It was pretty much a skeleton. There was very little left but bones.”

Gilbert said it’s possible the puppies had gnawed the remains of the dead dog.

“The other dead one was a puppy wrapped in a garbage bag sitting on the lawn,” she said.

Elliott signed the live animals over to the shelter, Gilbert said.

“The two adult dogs that we have are in pretty debilitated physical condition, which indicates to me that this is an ongoing situation,” Gilbert said. “Both tested positive for heart worms and intestinal parasites and are malnourished.”

Gilbert said she believed the puppies could be nursed to health.

All the dogs were found outside the residence. The owner left the adult animals tethered and the puppies running loose, Gilbert said.

“You know how cold it’s been lately,” she said. “One dog did have a barrel. There was a beat-up doghouse that had holes all around, so it wasn’t providing shelter. They were without food and water.”

Gilbert said that because Elliott cooperated in turning the animals over to authorities, she will be summoned to court for arraignment rather than arrested on warrants.

“I think they’re going to be looking at multiple charges,” she said.

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