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Friday, February 1, 2008

Police, Neighbors Outraged Over Dog Found Tied Up and Dead

AVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Wednesday morning police found a dog tied up and dead at a home on Savannah's eastside and it has many people absolutely furious. Police and neighbors hope this case will prevent other dogs from facing a similar fate.

When Savannah-Chatham police and animal control officers arrived at 1320 SE 36th Street, no one was home to explain why the dog was dead. The dog was lying in dirt and tied to a brick post in the back yard. The doghouse was overturned and out of reach.

JoAnn Young and her dog Skip, live across the street. "It's sad, I didn't know the dog was chained up and dead," she said. "He played with my dog, he'd come over here when he got loose."

Young said she hasn't seen the dog in a while. "I feel bad because I love animals," she said. "I have two cats too. It makes me feel bad to know that dog is tied up back there dead."

Police Lt. Brenda Boulware is in charge of the SCMPD animal control unit. This whole thing makes her mad. "I'm very, very disgusted by it all," she said.

But what really upsets her? It's illegal to tether, or tie up, a dog in the first place. "Because a dog being tethered is absolutely inhumane," said Boulware. "It's no way for a dog to live, they deserve much better than that."

Boulware said it makes dogs more aggressive and territorial.

It has been against the law to tether a dog in Savannah since last February. It's been illegal outside the city limits since 2005. And anyone caught doing it will pay the price. Up to a $1,000 fine.

Boulware said she's getting tired of seeing cases like this. "We are averaging now ten cases a month of tethering violations and that's going to go up because it's time people started taking care of their dogs, the right way."

Young said she had no idea tying up a dog was crime. She keeps Skip tied up on her front porch. "I take good care of my dog," she said. "I make sure he had water and food and everything."

Now she's going to keep Skip in her fenced backyard. She said it took the terrible death of this neighbor's dog for her to learn the law and maybe now others will too.

Police are still trying to find out who owns the dead dog. Lt. Boulware said that owner is facing tethering charges and could face more serious animal cruelty charges. A vet has the dog now and will determine the cause of death. In the meantime, if you know anything about this case or know of another dog that's tied up, call the police.

Reported by: Michelle Paynter,

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