In the week following the finding of three dogs bound and abandoned in Georgetown County, adoptions of both dogs and cats has spiked.
Typically, one to two pets are adopted per day at Saint Frances Animal Center in Georgetown, said Wendy Goude, shelter director.
“Our adoptions have increased significantly,” she said. “We have had more than 25 cats and dogs adopted in a week’s span which is phenomenal.”
A black Labrador retriever was found by fishermen who heard splashing in the International Paper Canal on July 2. The dog, named Dara by the shelter, had been muzzled and bound with duct tape, according to the Georgetown County sheriff’s office.
Dara had exploratory surgery Tuesday because her abdomen was swollen that revealed more damage from abuse, Goude said. When the dog was initially brought in, the swelling led shelter officials to believe she was pregnant.
Dara’s spleen was removed and significant bruising indicated severe kicking or beating, Goude said. Additionally a few masses were found and sent out for biopsies.
Two more dogs were found Thursday, also by fishermen, who noticed something smelly and found twp dead dogs lodged against a pope under the road. Necropsies performed July 6 showed both had been dead for three to seven days when found.
One of the dogs, described as yellow and medium sized, was taped like Dara. The report said it couldn’t be determined if the other dog, small and black, was bound by duct tape, but tt had a rope around its neck, the report said, and was covered with debris.
Hundreds have called asking about adopting Dara, but Goude said the dog is considered evidence and can’t be adopted until the case is closed.
“We have 252 Dara’s,” she said. “I wish our community would remember we have tons of dogs with sad stories that could use a loving and responsible home.”
All three incidents are likely related, said Carrie Cuthbertson, spokeswoman for the Georgetown County sheriff’s office.
Saint Frances announced a $2,500 reward for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible, and contributions to the reward are still being accepted.
No suspects have been identified, Cuthbertson said. Anyone with information on the incidents can call the sheriff’s office at 546-5102. Anonymous texts can also be sent to 274637. Text “GCSOTIP” followed by the information.
Anyone wishing to help Saint Frances cover the medical bills for Dara can mail donations to SFAC 125 N Ridge Road, Georgetown, S.C. 29440. Write Re: Dara on the check or envelope. Donations can also be made online at sfanimals.org.
Contact AMANDA KELLEY at 626-0381.