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Family seeks justice after their dog is euthanized at Lowndes Co.’s animal shelter

Updated: Nov. 5, 2020 at 7:08 PM EST
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VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) -A family says they’re seeking justice after Lowndes County Animal Shelter picked up their dog and euthanized it the same day.

“They are not giving the animals a chance, they are not giving the families a chance, this was not just a dog. This was our family member, this was our child. They messed with the wrong dog,” said Natasha Binion.

Family seeks justice after their dog was euthanized at the animal shelter.
Family seeks justice after their dog was euthanized at the animal shelter.(WALB)

Binion says it all started Tuesday night, October 27.

She says they let the dog out to use the bathroom, but he never came back.

She says the next day, they drove around, looking for him. Neighbors say they hadn’t seen him either.

She says the family asked the shelter about the dog, Shotgun, on Thursday morning.

She says the shelter told them two female dogs were picked up near her house, but not hers.

She says they left their contact information in case they saw Shotgun.

“That dog was more like my son than anything, I’ve had him since he was a puppy, never left my side anything. It just breaks my heart knowing that he is gone and what they did to him,” said Austin Chase Miley.

Family seeks justice after their dog was euthanized at the animal shelter.
Family seeks justice after their dog was euthanized at the animal shelter.(WALB)

According to an incident report, animal control responded Wednesday afternoon to a woman reporting a stray dog threatening her safety.

The woman says the dog had no collar and been in the area for two weeks.

She says it attacked her pet.

She says she’s attempted to locate the owner on Facebook, with no success.

While trying to take the dog in, the report says the dog tried to attack and bite the officer.

Once the dog was taken to the shelter, the report says the dog continued showing aggressive behavior.

A scan for a microchip merited no results.

The report says the Senior Shelter Technician said due to the fact there was no way to determine if the dog had an owner. The remoteness of the area shows the dog had been roaming over the past two weeks, and the behavior of the animal, it would pose a significant risk to staff and volunteers.

The dog was then put down.

“I would like to see them follow the law that they are supposed to follow and give families a chance to find their animals, give the animals a chance to find another family. If they would’ve given him a chance, he would’ve been adopted so quickly. He was so sweet, he was so gentle,” said Binion.

Shelter protocol indicates stray dogs are held for three days.

The family says they plan to hire a lawyer.

They started a Gofundme page to help with legal fees.

Lowndes County’s manager, Paige Dukes, released the following statement:

"Lowndes County Animal Services responded to a citizen fearful for her safety and that of her family as a result of a dog on her property behaving aggressively. As a result, the dog was picked up and transported to the Lowndes County Animal Shelter. During the process, the dog lunged at the officer and tried to bite him.

Upon arrival at the shelter, the dog was so aggressive a second officer and shelter attendant were required to hold the dog so that it could be scanned for a microchip.

The dog was not microchipped, had no collar, and was reported to have threatened a homeowner on and off over a period of two weeks. Due to extremely aggressive behavior, the dog could not be deemed eligible for adoption for obvious safety reasons. This being the case, the dog was euthanized.

Lowndes County Animal Services is responsible for keeping citizens safe first. It’s for this reason the animal was picked up and subsequently euthanized. If the dog had been properly cared for, kept on its owner’s property, microchipped, and/or had been wearing a collar, the outcome, in this case, could have been different.

Since this incident, Lowndes County has had to seek the assistance of law enforcement due to harassment of the shelter staff by the dog owner and those representing the dog owner. Citations are pending in this case."

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