Valdosta Daily Times

June 9, 2013

Dog recovers after being tied with electrical cord

Kristin Finney
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — The difference between life and death for a dog could be as simple as the correct collar; just ask Ellie.

Ellie, a shepherd mix, was rescued Thursday, June 6, after being found with an electrical cord embedded in her neck.  

After wandering to the Lowndes County Human Resources Building, Ellie was found by someone there. Ellie was taken to the Lowndes County Animal Shelter. From there, BARC Humane Society rescued Ellie and took her to the veterinary offices of Dr. J. William Martin, DVM, and Dr. Kyle Harrell, DVM. Martin had to perform surgery to remove the cord from her neck, and Ellie is now in recovery.

Paige Dukes, Lowndes County clerk and public information officer, said, “For many other dogs in Lowndes County, injury and illness due to abuse and neglect does result in an end, the end of their life. Some are found too late. Without proper food, water and shelter, dogs can perish in a matter of hours or days depending upon weather conditions.

“While many envision animal cruelty and/or abuse to be an obvious case, such as Ellie’s, most cases are the result of careless or uneducated pet owners that do not provide proper food, water and shelter to their animals.”

She said some cases are the result of a pet owner’s lack of financial resources to properly care for their animal.

“If this is the case, citizens are encouraged to convey their pets to the Lowndes County Animal Shelter or to a local rescue,” Dukes said. “Lack of financial resources is not a legal or legitimate excuse with regards to animal neglect. There is no penalty for relinquishing an animal; however, there can be many penalties related to neglect.”  

Situations like Ellie’s are hard to hear and easy to avoid. Pet owners should always follow the county’s pet tethering policies when tying up their pets. The county prohibits owners from allowing a collar, rope, chain or any other item from becoming embedded into the animal’s body.

The ordinance states, “It shall be unlawful for any person to chain or tether an animal to a stationary object for a period of time or under conditions that an animal services officer or law-enforcement official deems harmful or potentially harmful to the animal.”

Examples of such acts include:

— Using a length, tensile strength or weight of a chain or other tether that is not appropriate for the animal’s size, age, species, breed, or physical condition.

— A chain or other tether may not exceed 10 percent of the animal’s body weight.

— Using a chain or other tether that is less than 10 feet in length and also that does not have swivels on both ends.  

— All chains or other tethers must be attached to the animal by means of a properly fitting harness or collar.

— Allowing an animal to be chained or tethered such that the animal is not confined to the owner’s property or such that the chain or tether can become entangled and prevent the animal from moving about freely, lying down comfortably, or having access to adequate food and water and adequate shelter.

Debbie Rumker of BARC said, “When you put a collar on an animal, you should be able to put two fingers between the collar and the animal’s neck comfortably. Collars should be checked often, once every week or two, and more often for younger animals because they are growing. If you do not have a collar, please contact BARC and we will get one donated to you.”

She added, “Animals should never be tied up for more than a couple of hours at most. Do not use ropes or cords to tie up animals because these items slip and tighten around the animal’s neck every time it pulls.”

Ellie is expected to make a full recovery after a 10-day dose of antibiotics and regular wound cleanings. She will be available for adoption following that time. If you are interested in adopting Ellie, connect Debbie Rumker, (229) 548-2293; or call the BARC line, (229) 244-8500. Also if anyone would like to make a donation to help with the costs of Ellie’s vet bills, make all donations to J. William Martin and Kyle Harrell’s office and let them know that it is for Ellie.

To report animal abuse or neglect, citizens may call the Lowndes County Animal Shelter during normal business hours, (229) 671-2760. For after-hour emergencies, please dial 911.