Concerned dog case gets investigation in Aiken

AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) – An Aiken dog allegedly left chained to a fence with little nourishment may soon have some help.

That help came from many in the community along with Bully 4 U rescue member Robin Mitchell, who has stepped up to help the dogs she said need saving.

“[I have] A lot of anger, a lot of hatred for the people who have left the dog like this.”

Just a single bark from the dog was all that the NewsChannel 6 camera captured and a lot of stares.  The pup, according to Mitchell, has been left in its state for a long time.

“Belly swollen, she’s half blind, she’s been on the same chain in the same spot for 13 years,” she said.

Treats for the dog were not enough to hold back the tears after Mitchell finally decided enough was enough and it was time to see about the dog herself. Mitchell’s passionate plea to the dog, a tearful promise of returning, led to more food for the dog and an inspection by Code Enforcement, who sees dogs tethered often.  While he can’t speak about the Hampton Avenue case, which also has dogs left inside a home without power. Bobby Arthurs said he’s pushing to make it illegal to chain up dogs.

“We see a lot of animals that are left out on chains,” said Arthurs, Aiken Animal Services Shelter Manager and Chief Executive Officer.

Arthurs said the area where dogs are chained is typically too small and prohibits the canines from running.  He said the chains get tied up and restrict movement and that just makes them aggressive.

He added, “A lot of injuries occur every year from dogs that actually break off chains and end up biting people and in some cases actually kill kids.”

Arthurs is hoping to educate the public about the dangers of tethering with the help of local laws.

“We’re in favor of an ordinance that would give the animal control officers a tool to work with when they’re out in the field to get these animals off the chain,” he said adding that they won’t begin citing immediately if the ordinance passes, but will use that time to educate.

All Mitchell wants is more respects for furry friends.

“It needs to be a part of your family. It needs to grow up with your kids.  It will be your home protector, but it will also be like your child, your companion, your friend,” Mitchell said.

Arthurs is still working on the case and has made contact with the owner so they may not need a search warrant.

In the future, he wants rescue groups and others to take photos to document things such as lack of food in order for Code Enforcement to build a case. As for the ordinance, it passed the first reading.

Photojournalist: Gary Hipps

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