I understand that animal control has to have protocols. But doesn’t it seem that compassion and common sense might be more important when dealing with a disabled person and the life of a dog he loves?
Jimmy Howie of North Augusta, South Carolina (population 21,348) served 10 years in the military, but now he is severely disabled and largely confined to his bed. One of the only pleasures he has left is Shottie, his Husky.
"He would sit at the foot of my bed right beside my feet and i'd feed him every morning, that was the first deal of the day. He was a gorgeous little husky. He's really a lovely dog," Howie says.
Huskies are famous, or infamous, for occasionally hearing the Call of the Wild and going on little doggie adventures. Recently Shottie got out the back door, and Howie found a ransom note on his door.
The ransom note, actually a long typewritten document, was from the city demanding "cash within three days" for the dog’s shots, microchipping, and fees from the pound or the dog “would be disposed of.”
On Howie’s fixed income he didn’t have the money until his social security check arrived.
Some parts of the story are not clear, but what is clear is that since the ACO knew where Shottie lived, if he (or she) had just returned the dog and tried to work with Howie, it shouldn’t have been a story at all.
Instead of the expense of typing and delivering the letter, impounding, housing and killing a dog that had a loving home, a little compassion and common sense would have led to a wiser course of action.
The good news is that when the story aired on local TV, the city agreed to extend the deadline and people stepped forward to help with the expenses. And hopefully they will demand a better way of dealing with this kind of situation.
Interesting that this story out of South Carolina refers to a "dog catcher" and a "pound," terms I haven't heard in years. Might this be a clue to why we hear of so many transports of dogs out of South Carolina? Just wondering...