Albany police respond to animal cruelty, inhumane treatment

Officials say people need to take their pets to an animal shelter or the Humane Society if they can no longer take care of them

Lee County Animal Control Officer Jackie Grigg has seen her share of animal cruelty.

"I had an English Bulldog mix that had been tied with just a cable and it had pulled so deep that it almost cut literally to the bone," says Grigg.

She says she sees cases like this three to four times a year in Lee County.

In Albany this week, police reported one case of inhumane treatment and one case of animal cruelty. Both dogs involved had to be euthanized due to the severity of their injuries.

One Border Collie was chained in the backyard and later hit by a car. The owners didn't even respond to police the next day. Two days after this incident, another dog was found malnourished and reports say the dog looked dead.

Animal cruelty arrests aren't made often but in the case of the malnourished dog, the owner was taken away in handcuffs.

"We have animal control agents that love what they do and they love animals. When they make contact with them, that's their top priority: To make sure the animals are cared for," says Albany Police Department Media Manager Phyllis Banks-Whitley.

Officials say people need to take their pets to an animal shelter or the Humane Society if they can no longer take care of them. That way the dog will make its way to a good home.

"'They're basically like a person. You've got to make sure they have fresh water at all times, a shelter to get in. You've got to spend some time with them, give them plenty of TLC," says Grigg.

APD says the stories vary on why animals are mistreated. Some owners can't afford them anymore; other dogs are victims of dog fights. But when APD makes contact with them, they make sure the animals are cared for.

"We want those who love animals to know that we are doing our best to ensure that when we come in contact with a dog that has been badly injured we don't take that lightly," says Banks-Whitley.

Banks-Whitley says initial reports led animal advocacy groups to believe APD did not take care of the dogs immediately but the day after instead. She says she checked the records and reassures people that the animals were taken to receive care immediately after the incidences.

The Lee County Animal Shelter has close to 40 animals that are available for adoption; some of them previously mistreated animals. Contact the shelter at 229-759-6037 if you are interested in adoption.

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