Reported animal abuse cases soar in Fulton County

- It is a sobering thought about animal abuse; Fulton County's Animal Service said so far this year animal cruelty cases are up about a third over the last quarter. One dog in particular helps explain this troubling trend: Charlie.

“Charlie is a great dog and he's very indicative of the dogs we have here,” said Field Services Director Tim Poorman.

He said Charlie, a pit bull mix, is recovering from bleeding paws and malnourishment after being found living in a wire cage filled with feces and urine. Video shows Charlie was so badly matted in filth, Fulton County Animal Services believed he was chocolate brown in color. Then they washed him off.

“And he turned out he had a lot of white on him,” said Poorman.

Poorman said a tip led animal services to a home in southwest Atlanta where they confiscated Charlie. He said Charlie’s case is one of an increased number of animal cruelty cases.

“Cruelty cases have gone up about a third this quarter from last. Our shelter is full of dogs like Charlie that are highly adoptable, just come from bad situations,” said Poorman.

Poorman said recent animal abuse cases in the news, social media, and a general awareness likely prompted the jump in abuse cases and calls which also means more dogs and cats available for adoption.

Tootie Johnson and family were taking one of those dogs home, having completed the adoption papers they adopted a pit bull mix from the shelter.

“They're like the less fortunate ones you know everybody need a helping hand, you find great animals here,” said Johnson.

The Johnson’s new family member is one of about 300 dogs available for adoption. Poorman said about a third were from abusive homes. They were either rescued or turned in to the shelter, hopefully to find a new home like Charlie.

“Our live release rate was between 85 and 90 percent last year,” said Poorman.

Poorman said Charlie’s owner faces a charge of animal cruelty. He is scheduled to go to court on Wednesday where Poorman said the judge will decide whether or not the dog can be returned to its former home.

For more information on the dogs and cats available go to the website of Fulton County Animal Services.

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