No one is quite certain what happened to a dog that was discovered tied up and apparently malnourished Wednesday afternoon.
Social media comments from animal care advocates feel the case is indicative of problems that plague animal control efforts in the city of Bastrop.
On Wednesday night, Missy Sanders Diffenderfer posted a photo on Facebook showing a dark-colored dog, later identified as a pit bull, drinking water from a bucket with dog food scattered on the ground next to a towel. In her initial post, Diffenderfer’s said a concerned citizen took the dog food and a blanket and was greeted by a dog that “wagged her tail and was so excited that someone brought her food.”
Beyond this is where it gets confusing.
Bastrop Police Chief Downey Black said he couldn’t find a report to substantiate information posted by Diffenderfer that the owner was issued a citation.
Diffenderfer stated she was told the owner would contact the city’s animal control officer in the morning to pick up the dog.
The man who oversees the city’s animal control efforts said they weren’t going to pick up the dog just because the owner didn’t want it.
Contacted this morning, someone at the residence where the dog was said Wednesday that the city came and picked up the animal.
Residents at the house later told someone else that a person who identified themselves as a representative of the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals came to the house and took the dog.
The city’s animal control officer told Diffenderfer the dog is still at the Van Street residence where it was originally photographed Wednesday.
And this all happened before noon Thursday.
“I don’t usually post things like this, but I’m really getting tired of our elected officials right here in Bastrop not giving a [expletive deleted],” Diffenderfer wrote in her initial post, which garnered over 100 responses.
Sherman Burrell serves as a chief of staff/director of administration for Bastrop Mayor Arthur Jones. Burrell said the city’s animal control officer contacted the owner of the dog, who said they no longer wanted the pet.
“The city cannot go around and pick up dogs because people decide they no longer want it,” Burrell said.
Someone at the residence said the dog was being cared for.
In spite of the city’s stance toward unwanted dogs, the animal control officer went back by the house and reported the dog was still at the residence. Then the owner allegedly told a police officer they had given the dog away. An employee of the Morehouse Humane Society later went to the house and said the dog was no longer at the residence.
Many of those responding to the initial post are involved in animal rescue efforts across the state. One posted the case gives cause to ill will toward city workers.
“They got rid of the dog because they were scared they would get in trouble,” was a response posted Thursday afternoon by Joyce Charles of LaPlace. “My neighbor did the same thing when he received a notice, make the dog disappear and the problem goes away. Makes you wanna go postal on people in charge.”