Locals Caring for Neglected Dog

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Some local residents have taken it upon themselves to care for a dog that they say has been chained and neglected for weeks now.

Lauderdale County resident Diane Russell says her husband, Lt. Ruston Russell with the Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department, was dispatched to Billy Bell Road in the Lauderdale Community last week.

"And he received a call out here to check the welfare of the animal," she recalls. "And of course, when he came home and told me the status of it, it broke my heart."

Russell's husband found a dog chained to a truck outside of an abandoned home. Russell says she and her husband have been going back to the site almost every day now to make sure the dog has fresh food and water. She says she just can't understand why someone chain up the dog and abandon it.

"I don't want to walk away and just act like it doesn't happen," Russell says. "Someone walked away and you know, he was obviously someone's pet and whoever didn't want him anymore, that's okay. Give him to someone else."

Newscenter 11 spoke to Lauderdale County Animal Control director Ryan Couch by phone on Friday. He says officials have gone to the site and issued an official notice, which requires a response by Monday. He says Animal Control has legal procedures it must follow before taking the dog into custody. Russell says in the meantime, she can't turn her back on the dog.

"I know they can't just come and pick it up," she says. "They do have to assess it and I understand that. And I understand the Mississippi laws. But when I took the food up and didn't come for 3 days, it was obvious the dog had lost more weight. You know, it made me sad."

If you know of an animal you believe is being neglected or abused, you can call the Lauderdale County Animal Control at 601-485-1956.