Protect Georgia Pets

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Thursday night, I was given written consent to rescue a dog from his abusive home. The owner claimed to beat, kick, muzzle Dexter (the dog I rescued) and tie out around a tree in the yard.  He had various physical signs of abuse as well as emotional. I cared for him, paid for vet bills and took him into my home. The owners declared theft shortly after and even though, I had written admittance of the owners abuse, vet reports, and consent...the dog was confiscated from me and given back to the abusive owners. Why is it, in the state of Georgia, that an animal has to be near death in order for the law to intervene? To what extent does abuse have to go in order to extract change? My petition is to have a law that PROTECTS animals like the one I tried to save, instead of a law that grants mentally ill people free will to abuse their pets.