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Don't punish Stephen Bailey for rescuing a dog

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What kind of world do we live in where those rescuing animals are charged with crimes? That's what my friend Stephen Bailey is wondering after he was arrested and charged with theft for unchaining a dog who was stuck in a backyard with no food or water. Please sign my petition asking the Fulton County prosecutor and Georgia officials to drop charges against Stephen Bailey who was just trying to help a chained up backyard dog. Steve's next court date is this December 2, so we need as many concerned members of the public to sign to support him before then.

This all started on a hot day in July 2013 when Steve was taking his dogs for a walk and after speaking with a concerned neighbor about puppies who were running in the street, he learned about was a dog chained to a tree without food or water on a day that was over 90 degrees. The concerned neighbor had called animal control 3 times but with no response.

Steve, who is a well known animal advocate in the community, including a recent Fox 5 news feature highlighting his work, took immediate action for fear the dog would dehydrate so he unchained the dog. Once unchained, the dog and the puppies who were running loose followed him, the concerned neighbor, and his own dogs (who were properly leashed) back to their home a few blocks away.

To prevent the dogs from running in the street any longer, he secured them inside his fence, gave them food and water, and he and his wife called 911.

The 911 operator said she couldn't do anything about it and for them to call animal control.

They then called animal control to report, and moments after calling police officers stormed the Baileys' home, climbing the fence and tackling Steve to the ground, handcuffing his wife and the concerned neighbor and taking both Steve and the neighbor to jail!

The owner of the dogs had called 911 with a false accusation that Steve stole her dogs to sell them! (They can check the phone records for the Baileys' calls to 911 and animal control). And it turns out animal control didn't show up until 3 days later, which means the chained dog likely would have suffered for a long time.

Steve and his wife have rescued numerous animals from the streets of their neighborhood who were wandering loose, cold, starving, or injured over their 5 years there. They have paid for their vetting out of their own pocket and re-homed the animals after having them checked for microchips and canvasing the neighborhood to see if they could find their owners.

Our tax funded local agencies consistently & repeatedly fail to aid and/or enforce the law when it comes to neglected dogs so the laws in Georgia for animal cruelty and neglect need to be addressed and stiffer penalties applied to those who neglect and abuse their animals. But for now the immediate goal is to help an animal rescuer who was protecting a dog in need of help! Steve stands up for those rights and will not back down from that fight.

He is facing 90 days in jail for 3 counts of theft by taking. Please sign and help this man take a stand against animal abuse and neglect before the December 2 date by which the prosecution must decide if it's worth wasting public resources to punish Steve for helping animals in need.

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