Lee County seeing surge in animal abuse cases
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
LEE COUNTY - Lee County is seeing a serious surge in animal abuse cases. Officials say this tough economy has many people struggling to make ends meet and pets are suffering because of it. Four in your Corner's Mike Mason explains.
Officials with Lee County's Animal Services say this summer they've seen more animal cruelty cases and the types of abuse are more severe than ever.
Believe it or not, this is a purebred German Shepherd, he was found wandering the streets of Lehigh Acres. He has a gentle disposition, is housebroken and loveable but severe mange and starvation has transformed this dog into.....well this.
Joy Augustine: "He's obviously been starved, very much so, plus this is very itchy and very painful."
It's hard to imagine how he feels and he can't shake off the pain and discomfort but Joy Augustine is fighting to save his life.
Joy lives in North Fort Myers fostering dogs for a German Shepherd rescue group based in Ocala. Officials at Lee County Animal Services found the dog this week, named him Bubba, and gave him to Joy so she can bring him to Ocala for extensive rehabilitation.
Mike Mason: "How can someone let it get like this?”
Joy Augustine: "I don't know, I don't know. This is my first time seeing one this bad, I've been in rescue 3 years now and I don't know how people can do it."
This is Kai, a 3 year old German Shepherd who also came from an abusive situation. Joy says 'Bubba' should be looking like Kai in about 2 or 3 months as long as he's taken care of. It's hard to believe that this dog is supposed to look like this one.
Animal Services seeing more abuse cases this summer than ever before....they think it's because of the poor economy.
Darcy Andrade: "People are still losing their homes, still not working things like that. A lot of times animals can be considered disposable."
This Shepherd was neglected for so long a collar became imbedded into its neck. Officials say the types of abuse they’re seeing are more horrific than usual.
Darcy Andrade: "We recently brought in a dog that had a 17 pound tumor that we removed, she didn't have any use of her front legs because the tumor was so large."
Joy says it breaks her heart to see pets abused by the very ones in charge of protecting them.
Joy Augustine: "It's just so sad, he's such a good boy and to be treated this way, to get into this kind of condition is unconscionable."
Lee County Animal Services has an Animal Care Trust Fund which will help pay for Bubba's rehab and vet bills. They rely on public donations, to learn more about how you can help call them at 239-533-7387.