The Sunday after Thanksgiving, we were driving on I-20 through Augusta on our way home when we saw a dog running in the emergency lane.
My husband quickly pulled over. I called to the dog and it ran into my arms. He was a docile and terrified fellow. We would have taken the dog home with us, but wanted to make sure his owner had a chance to find him. So we called Augusta Animal Services and an hour later met a dispatcher off the highway.
The young dog had an injured leg, but seemed OK when we gave him to the dispatcher.
We called the next Tuesday and asked to have our contact info put in the dog’s file, so if the owner didn’t show up, we’d be called. We said we were prepared to get it any veterinary care it needed.
The person on the phone said it was against their policy to note that someone was interested in adopting an animal before they processed it. He said a vet would assess the dog in a few days and no action would be taken until Dec. 5, when they would decide whether to euthanize the dog or put him up for adoption.
That Wednesday I called again and was told the vet would come the next day.
That Thursday, Nov. 30, a supervisor called to say, well, actually, a vet had seen the dog Wednesday morning, and euthanized it then.
The vet never knew someone wanted the dog. The vet thought he “might” have had spinal damage, because he wouldn’t stand up. The dog was traumatized, injured, doped-up on pain-killers, and not seen by a vet until three days after he’d been brought in. Of course he didn’t feel like standing up.
The bureaucracy at Augusta Animal Services that allows for this kind of unnecessary suffering and death needs to be changed. No animal should be treated this way, and no one should have to mourn a cared-for animal because of petty bureaucracy.