Endangered dogs pulled from home

Published 9:17 am Friday, July 14, 2017

Officials with the Vicksburg-Warren Humane Society have seized two dogs and six 3-week-old puppies from a home on Stenson Road in response to a complaint from neighboring residents about the animals being malnourished.

“Sadly, this happens a good bit,” said Georgia Lynn, Humane Society director. She said the seizure Thursday was a civil seizure ordered by a Warren County Justice Court Judge under a state law that allows state-appointed animal control organizations to take animals that have been mistreated, neglected or abandoned.

Humane Society officials seized a Labrador/pit bull mix and its six puppies and a pit bull. The animals are being held at the Humane Society on U.S. 61 South.

Lynn said the animals were taken after the owners were served with an order from Justice Court to surrender the animals. The order was in response to a complaint from neighbors that Lab/pit bull mix and a brown pit bull were not being fed.

Usually what happens, she said, is a complaint is made by a citizen and a sheriff’s deputy goes out and investigates the complaint, either taking pictures or talking to the owners. The report is sent to the county prosecutor, who files papers with Justice Court and a judge issues an order to pick the animal up.

Lynn said the seizure Thursday resulted from complaint after one of the dogs wandered into a neighbor’s yard and the individual took pictures of it and filed a complaint. “That animal was emaciated,” she said.
She said officials arriving at the home found the Lab mix and its puppies, but did not find the pit bull, which was the sickest. She said they learned later someone in the area had taken the dog to a local vet for treatment. The vet has been notified about the court order, Lynn said.

Another pit bull, which was healthy, was seized after it charged Lynn and sheriff’s deputy Ronnie Fuller, who accompanied the Humane Society officials and served the court order. The pit bull was seized because of its aggressive behavior and because it was not vaccinated for rabies. None of the dogs had been vaccinated for rabies, Lynn said.

She said the owners told her they vaccinated the animals themselves. However, she said, only a licensed veterinarian can give rabies vaccinations under state law.

The animals were assessed after arriving at the Humane Society and were found to be infested with fleas and ticks. The puppies also appeared to have been sprayed by a skunk, and one pup’s face was swollen and his eyes were shut. Workers could hear it growling as they examined it.

Under state law, the owners have five days to file an objection to the seizure with Justice Court. The court then has 14 days to set a hearing on the objection. If no objection is filed, or if it is denied, the Humane Society will keep the animals, which could be put up for adoption at a later date.

“Right now, our biggest concern is getting them healthy,” Lynn said. “We’re going to draw blood to check them for heart worms, check them for parasites, and if we need to take them to vet. Right now, I can see they are going to have to go to the vet. All the puppies are in very poor health.”

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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