PET LOVE SHACK
Pup abuse spurs calls for tougher cruelty law
A veterinarian will try reconstructive surgery on an abandoned puppy found with its snout wired shut.
It is the third case of animal cruelty in two weeks to sicken metro Atlanta residents and cause activists to seek tougher laws.
Two men found the 4-month-old mixed breed Monday near a Fulton County gas station and took him to the Cobb Emergency Veterinary Clinic for treatment. The men removed a wire that had been tightly wound around the puppy's snout.
Several rubber bands also grew into the skin around the mouth, said veterinary surgeon Dr. David Filer. He said the wire was probably put on the dog to keep him from barking.
"This is horrific, but unfortunately this is not the worst case of cruelty I've seen," Filer said.
The clinic treats about one abuse case a week, but extreme cases of cruelty have been increasing, said head veterinary technician Ann Vercauteren.
She is pushing to change state animal cruelty laws from a misdemeanor to a felony offense. The clinic in Cobb has more than 1,000 names on petitions that will be turned over to Sen. Robert Brown (D-Macon), who is sponsoring a bill to change the law.
The abandoned puppy--named Karl for Karl Malden, the actor known for his bulbous nose--was brought in the same day the clinic released a stray cat that had been shot with an arrow. Last week, veterinarians operated for more than two hours to remove the arrow, which damaged the cat's intestine, bladder and a kidney.
On Wednesday, Gwinnett County police arrested an 11-year-old Snellville boy who they say broke into a house and beat a puppy nearly to death. The attack left Jetson, a 6-month-old Labrador retriever, with a broken left front leg, a skull fracture and smashed nasal passage.
When Jetson's owner, John Stege, 41, returned home from work Tuesday, he found the dog in the back yard limping and bloody. Jetson underwent surgery and is expected to survive, Stege said.
The boy police arrested on charges of animal cruelty and burglary is a Bethesda Elementary School student, said Sgt. Joy Parish, spokeswoman for the Gwinnett Police Department.
In July, two Flowery Branch teens doused a 3-month-old kitten with gasoline and set it afire. The kitten, named Dunkin, later died.
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