Sunday, 19 May 2024

Animal Care and Control recovers two dogs in separate abuse cases

Whiskey was taken into protective custody on June 27, and is seen here during her care at Wasson Memorial Veterinary Hospital in Lakeport. Courtesy photo.


NOTE: This story contains images some readers may find upsetting.

LAKE COUNTY – In recent weeks county Animal Care and Control officials have confronted a number of animal cruelty cases, the latest involving two severely abused dogs.

According to Animal Care and Control Director Denise Johnson, one of the dogs was hit by a semi truck and given no veterinary care, while the other was found unable to stand and without food and water.

Both remain under veterinary care and the county's protective custody, officials stated.

Johnson reported that on June 27, Animal Care and Control Officer Eric Wood responded to a welfare call on a dog that was hit two days previous by a semi truck.

The person reporting the dog's situation alleged that its owners sought no medical treatment for the animal, which had been crying in agony for two days, Johnson said.

When Wood arrived at the owners' residence, he found the 6-month-old, 25-pound female pit bull was unable to stand, said Johnson. The animal hadn't been able to urinate for two days.

Wood rushed the dog – dubbed “Whiskey – to Wasson Memorial Veterinary Clinic in Lakeport, where veterinarians confirmed she was suffering from a shattered hip, Johnson said. Whiskey then underwent emergency orthopedic surgery.

“She's doing great,” Wood told Lake County News on Friday. “She hasn't made a full recovery but she's on her way.”

Wood said Whiskey can stand up and walk around, although she might have suffered nerve damage to her right back leg.



Whiskey has a large scar from the emergency surgery she underwent. Photo courtesy of Lake County Animal Care and Control.


However, he said Whiskey has a great attitude, which is aiding her recovery. “She possibly could be released from the vet in a week.”

Once released, Whiskey will remain in protective county custody, said Wood. Her owners, who have not yet been named, have 14 days to pay the veterinary bill to retain ownership. If they don't, her ownership will revert to the county, which will place her in a foster home.

The outlook so far isn't as bright for “Luke,” a 10-year-old German shepherd who Wood found while responding to a call earlier this month.



Luke undergoing care at Clearlake Veterinary Clinic. Photo courtesy of Lake County Animal Care and Control.


Wood found Luke with no food, water or shelter, lying in the direct sun and unable to move. What's more, the 10-year-old, 120-pound dog could not stand, and was dragging his hindquarters when he did try to move, Johnson said.

By attempting to drag himself across the yard, Luke had suffered wounds, which Johnson said were open and filled with maggots.

Johnson said Luke was in pain, and his fur was matted and filled with stickers and foxtails. The person who reported Luke to authorities alleged he had been in that condition for weeks, and the owner – whose name officials haven't disclosed – hadn't taken him to the vet.

Wood impounded Luke and took him to Clearlake Veterinary Clinic where he received emergency care.




Luke was found without food or water and unable to stand, besides having open wounds and hair matted with foxtails and stickers. Photo courtesy of Lake County Animal Care and Control.



However, Wood said Friday that he had checked with the veterinarian that day, and Luke's prognosis wasn't looking promising.

“He could go either way as far as making a full recovery or not,” said Wood. “He's 10 years old so his age is working against him right now.”

Luke also is extremely overweight, which is complicating his recovery, Wood said.

Wood said he'll know more about Luke's outlook on Monday. At that time, if Luke still can't stand on his own, it will be up to the veterinarian to decide if it's more humane to euthanize the dog.

“From what I've seen, it doesn't look good, though,” he said.

Cases against the owners are being referred to the District Attorney's Office. Wood said they'll face animal cruelty charges.

The Humane Society of the United States reports that a conviction on California's felony anti-cruelty statute calls for a maximum fine of $20,000 and between one and three years in jail, with psychological counseling also mandatory. That law was enacted in 1988 and pertains to all kinds of animals.

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Upcoming Calendar

05.21.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
05.22.2024 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Lake Leadership Forum
05.25.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
Memorial Day
05.28.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
06.01.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
06.04.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
06.08.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile

Mini Calendar



Award winning journalism on the shores of Clear Lake. 



Enter your email here to make sure you get the daily headlines.

You'll receive one daily headline email and breaking news alerts.
No spam.