Tuesday, August 25, 2009

At least three pit bulls euthanized

Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2009
At least three pit bulls euthanized
Dogs among 29 seized Aug. 19 by Talbot County Sheriff's Department
By Larry Gierer - lgierer@ledger-enquirer.com

Sometimes, there is no other choice.

Of the 29 pit bulls possibly used for fighting that the Talbot County Sheriff’s Department seized on Aug. 19, at least three have had to be euthanized.

“We try to save all the dogs but can’t give one away if there is a serious aggression problem,” said Joan Sammond, director of the Georgia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which now has the animals.

She said that, besides evaluating the health of each dog, the Georgia SPCA checks whether the animal is dangerous.

“We watch to see how a dog reacts to other dogs,” she said. “We study the dog for food aggression, looking to see it reacts to someone getting close to its food dish. The dogs are very strong and must have the proper temperament.”

There is nothing that can be done for the dogs that have gotten too mean, she said.

The dogs’ alleged owner, Antonio Monds, was arrested about 11 a.m. Wednesday, when he arrived at the wooded site where the dogs were kept. He was charged with five counts of dogfighting and 29 counts of cruelty to animals. The dogs ranged from puppies to full-grown pit bulls.

Monds made his $55,000 bond Sunday, said Talbot County Sheriff’s Maj. Jeff Sivell.

“We’re expecting some more arrests,” Sivell added. “At least one more.”

Besides the Georgia SPCA, volunteers from the Atlanta Humane Society were on hand to take the dogs.

The animals were found thanks to a tip sent to Norred and Associates, a private corporate security firm. The dogs were found about 500 feet north of South Howard Road, where it runs into Sizemore Road. The dogs were confined by 3-foot chain leashes connected to metal stakes in the ground. Water was supplied solely by rain. No fresh food was found. Several dogs had scars.

“We will be taking several of the dogs into our Suwanee adoption facility,” Sammond said. “The rest of the dogs, we need to find eligible rescue and humane organizations to take them because our facility does not have the space for this many dogs. We have been contacted by Mariah’s Promise, a pit bull rescue in Colorado, but they are not sure how many of the dogs they would be able to help out with.”

Sammond said the dogs can’t stay where they are for too long because of expenses, which the Georgia SPCA is having to take on. This means that those dogs not placed into other rescues within the next week to 10 days also may have to be euthanized.

In an effort to stop that from happening, the Georgia SPCA is seeking donations to help with the rescue effort.

Donations can be made online at www.georgiaspca.org.

Rescue groups interested in the dogs may call the Georgia SPCA at 678-765-2726.