Warning: This article contains images that may be considered graphic to viewers.
COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — Paws Humane Society in Columbus recently made a Facebook post about Layla, a dog it says was injured, emaciated and sick with heartworm disease when she was found by Animal Care and Control. Layla had a severe laceration on her throat.
“She was definitely not feeling her best that day,” Paws Humane Society Executive Director Courtney Pierce said in an interview. “And Animal Control is the one that picked her up. And we saw her over there. Animal Control is kind of limited in what they can do, and we have staff veterinarians, so we wanted to bring her over so that we could get her the proper care she needed.”
When vets examined Layla, they found two scars on her neck, which Paws Humane Society attributes to embedded collars.
“We had to shave the area so that we were able to clean, ‘cause they had to go in and debride that area, clean it up so that they can sew it back together,” Pierce said.
She said Paws Humane Society will monitor Layla closely over the next two weeks to make sure her wound heals properly.
Pierce said fundraisers for Layla can be accessed on Paws Humane Society’s Facebook and Instagram pages. Paws Humane Society aims to raise $1,500 to cover Layla’s surgery and ongoing medical care. Paws Humane Society is a 501c3 nonprofit organization, and all donations to it are fully tax-deductible.
Pierce said that if more money is raised than Layla needs, the extra money will go towards other animals in need.
Paws Humane Society sees animals with serious injuries frequently, Pierce said, but their injuries aren’t always caused by acts of cruelty. For example, they’re sometimes hit by cars or attacked by other animals.
Pierce said she believes animal neglect is common in Columbus.
“What we try to do is educate the community, and sometimes, you know, sometimes neglect is lack of education or lack of resources,” she said. “So we try to fill that gap and become that resource so that people can be the best owners. Certainly, we as well as any other city, experience cruelty, and I’ll say willful neglect, which means that they know better and do it anyway. I don’t really know how to speak to the volume of that in comparison with any other city. It is something that we see, though.”
The Facebook post says that heartworm disease is “a serious and potentially fatal illness caused by foot-long parasitic worms that live in a dog’s heart, lungs and blood vessels.” It says that the worms can cause “dangerous blockages and cut off blood flow, leading to the destruction of red blood cells, heart failure, lung disease and organ damage.”
Law enforcement officers are investigating this matter.