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Rescue River from his abusers!

This petition had 37,481 supporters

This petition is to save the life of a beautiful, mature male dog. When he was found, he had thousands of fleas(check pictures on his facebook site), he was SEVERELY emaciated, the worst score the vet could give, had ear infections in both ears that hadn't been treated, the front teeth were worn down to the gums, and the next canines were worn down to just half-teeth with cavities in them, and he acted like he had never been pet before. He was terrified to go outside because he thought that we were going to leave him out there. At night, he would NOT go outside, my boyfriend would have to carry him out and stand with him and he'd often pee for 20+ seconds and dart back inside to make sure he could stay inside for a change. Clearly he'd been neglected an not fed much, if at all. 

Please listen to poor River's story:

On Monday January 5th, I received a text message from a man (Michael Boice) saying that when he got home from work he found a dog sitting in his yard/driveway. I immediately contacted rescues and ended up getting a go-ahead to get the dog from Debbie Rumker--a woman who is part of the Valdosta Humane Society. The Lowndes County Shelter director, Linda, agreed that I could do the 3-day stray hold at my house because of the bad state of health that the dog was in... he could have gotten sick at the shelter. I picked the dog up Tuesday morning (1/6) and took him to the vet, Dr. Harrels office, to get his inital vetting done. It was found that he was heartworm positive, had bad ear infections, was **40-50** pounds underweight, had rotten and filed down teeth all the way to the gums, and was COVERED in fleas and ticks. Not to mention his obvious neglected mental and emotional state. He received his Rabies shot, flea medicine, heartworm medicine, and ear-infection medicine. We took him home and finally felt relieved that he was safe.

However, it turns out that he wasn't. On Wednesday January 7th, I was contacted and was told an address of where the dog may have came from. It was said that there were other dogs there in the same condition. This turned out to be Michael's neighbor. I was given the address and I called the animal shelter to do a welfare check. It turns out that the people that live at that address are related to the "owner" of the dog that was found. They lived two houses down. We didn't know this at the time. The next thing I knew, the owner was messaging me on Facebook that I had their stolen dog...odd? Officer Giddens (animal control officer) later admitted that he was next to her while she was messaging me (I will attach a copy of her message). I found out later that Tina, (an animal control officer), gave them my confidential information that I used when calling for the welfare check. She is friends with them. I then contacted Debbie Rumker who then told me that she was being told I had to take the dog back to Dr. Harrell's office so that he could be in a "neutral" environment during the "investigation". So eventually after a lot of different thoughts, I did. I was almost positive that there was no possible way anyone could get their dog back after letting them get in that condition. When I arrived, Officer Giddens and Tina were at the vets office. They were immediately on defense for the owners of the dog. I handed them a stack of evidence to show the awful condition of the dog and also as to how the dog got to Michael's...that he wasn't stolen. They were "positive" that Michael stole this dog, even though they hadn't talked to Michael, or me; and when my boyfriend asked if they had any "hard" evidence, Officer Giddens replied "no". They hadn't seen any of my proof, pictures, or anything for that matter. They had not talked to anyone regarding the case besides the "owners" and the neighbors who do not like Michael because of past drama of which has anything to do with animals. (A lot are ordinance issues). Also, Tina was defending the owners by saying that the dogs teeth were in such bad shape because he was probably eating bad dog food. Dog's teeth can only get this way by chewing on rocks or metal...Numerous studies have been done. Rocks because he was hungry...metal from the pin that he was supposedly constantly locked up in. The owner even admitted to me that all the dog did was dig from "dusk till dawn."

Thursday January 8th, I was contacted by Officer Coffee, only because I demanded for him to get my side of the story. In the first seconds of conversation I knew that he had obviously made his mind up about Michael and said that it was suspicious that he kept the dog overnight when he knew that there was an "animal rescuer" that lived across the street. However, Michael didn't want to give the dog to her because of neighbor drama in the past and at the time he did not know where the dog came from. Because he knew that I have a passion for animals and many contacts, he contacted me. Michael also knew that it wasn't Amber's dog because in the past when Ambers dog's came onto his property, Amber was always immediately over there to get them. If she was missing a dog, she would have came, and came fast, to see if he had wandered onto his property. Not to mention the "owners" that claimed that their dog was stolen 3 days beforehand...why didn't they make a report then? Why didn't they call the shelter to see if their dog had been brought in? Why didn't they go door-to-door and ask Michael if he had seen their dog? BECAUSE THEY DIDN'T CARE. This was an ego trip for them. Once they saw my post about the poor condition the dog was in, they wanted to win him back. They didn't care until animal control went to their house when I called for a welfare check to be done next door. They knew that by saying that their dog was stolen, by using their dramatic past with Michael, and by using their family connection with Sheriff Prine, they could win.

How did this happen? Well, while doing the legal stray hold at my house, I was told that I MUST bring the dog back to the vet to be in a "neutral" environment during the "investigation". This demand was coming from the commissioners office. After finally agreeing to take him back a couple of hours later, I was greeted by Officer Giddens who told me that they would be getting the dog back eventually because they were "kin" to sheriff Prine. I have since confirmed this and have found out that they are his cousins. 

Later, I went to the county police department and ended up speaking to Detective Maryanne. He claims that he knows Michael did not steal the dog, and that if he did he would have been arrested already. However, he still told me that the dog is going back to the owners and that there was nothing he could do about it. I still thought we had a chance once I heard that the court date was February 10th.

But Tuesday, February 3rd, the owner came to the vet and drug the poor dog out by a slip leash. They can now do whatever they want with him and punish him for all of this "trouble" they have gone through. Lowndes County Shelter PAID their $400+ dollar vet bill for them. When the dog saw the owner, he turned in the opposite direction..laid down...and the owner pulled him out by a slip leash. He didn't want to go back with him. There weren't any tail wags or jumps for joy... no other family members relieved to see their long lost dog back... If he had a voice, I can just imagine the things he would have said. For a month he has gained an average of 1.98 lbs per day. He has been inside and loved on. And then today he woke up thinking that it would be another wonderful day until he saw his nasty owners face. 

After reading all documents that had to be requested, I am appalled. There are many discrepancies and the statements are completely biased. These officers were not objective at all. ACO Gidden's had many false statements, which make me seem as if I lied about where I found the dog. And Officer Coffee's statement seems as if it was completely made up. He was obviously very confused about the situation and did not care enough to check simple facts. This investigation was not taken seriously. 

Also:.....Officer Coffee's statement neglects any facts. He never spoke with me in person. I am not Michael Boice's girlfriend. That is not my address. He did not get MY statement until *I* called HIM. Mike did not get interviewed until I demanded it. And one more fact....Giddens made it seem like I lied about where the dog was found. RIGHT when I was contacted, I told them that the house was OFF OF exit 11. I later gave them the EXACT address. No facts were hidden here. I did nothing wrong. Michael did nothing wrong.

After seeing the physical state of this dog, not to mention his emotional and mental state, I cannot believe that this dog was forced to go back to these so-called owners. After we gave him his flea medicine, literally 1000's of fleas fell off of him. He acted like he had never been pet before. He was terrified to go outside because he thought that we were going to leave him out there. At night, he would NOT go outside, my boyfriend would have to carry him out and stand with him and he'd often pee for 20+ seconds and dart back inside to make sure he could stay inside for a change. I have never met a dog like him. He had such a gentle soul and just wanted to be loved. I've never seen such a broken-soul dog and when he did open his mouth to smile... No one could help but to shed tears.

Please sign the petition to give a voiceless dog a voice, a broken soul some love, an elderly man a chance to live happy, and demand Attorney General, Sam Olens & Chief of Police, Brian Childress to do the correct thing and take this dog back and give him a home he deserves!

This is very clearly a case of animal cruelty, which is punishable by removing the animal from the "home" or "prison" in this case...however inmates get treated better.

 Officers and everyone involved in this injustice need to be terminated. #justice4River #abovethelaw

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