Officials investigate dog found dead inside crate in the woods

By: Emma Wheeler | WCTV Eyewitness News
July 10, 2018

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WCTV) -- Lowndes County officials are searching for answers after a dog was found dead, abandoned inside of a crate in the woods.

The dog was found in a wooded are off of Park Avenue just west of Forrest Street. Authorities are now looking for who is responsible, and for more information.

"There's no scenario that would justify leaving her out there like that," said Debbie Rumker, a volunteer with the Humane Society of Valdosta Lowndes County. "When I drove up I saw the crate, and there were children walking by. It was heartbreaking enough seeing her out there like that, but the children were walking by and asking what happened to her, is that your dog? It was horrible to see they had to see that."

They call her 'Ann Angel.' She was found Sunday having died what could have been just hours before being found. No one knows exactly how long she had been out there, but officials said sometimes, a few hours is all it takes for a dog to pass away in this heat.

While Ann Angel is one of the worst cases volunteers said they have seen, it's not the first abandoned dog.

"We've seen them dumping animals off on dirt roads, out in the middle of no where," Rumker said. "The others we at least have a chance to save. We had no chance for her. If somebody had called us we would have picked her up, we would have taken her. The shelter would have taken her."

Dogs and carts are being abandoned and surrendered all over the county. Officials said every summer the need picks up, from families deciding they don't have the time for the animal, or Christmas dogs and cats that are no longer being cared for as they get older. But this year local volunteers and shelters are having a hard time keeping up.

"We really are facing a huge overpopulation problem here in Lowndes County. Again, there's an answer to that. There's one answer and it's spay, neuter," said Lowndes County Public Information Officer Paige Dukes. ""The answer to the aggressive dogs we've seen lately, the answer to the overpopulation at the shelter, the answer to our euthanasia rates, the answer to animals being neglected or abandoned, every little bit of that can be solved by spay or neuter."

Officials are asking the community to seek resources if they are in need, like the Lowndes County Animal Shelter or Humane Society of Valdosta Lowndes County. They can help with everything from temporary care to help with training and food.

"Ask us if you need help, we want to give you some resources. And if you just can't keep the pet anymore, please bring it to the shelter," Dukes said.

Seeking help can allow man's best friend the second chance at life Ann Angel didn't get.

There is an open investigation about Ann Angel.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to offer a reward to anyone with information about who is responsible.