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Story Archives: Front page pup finds new home
|Front page pup finds new home|
The shelter dog that captured hearts in captivity that appeared on the front page of The Franklin Sun has found a home.
The dog, which was pictured on the cover of the March 31 edition of this newspaper in a story titled "Barbaric conditions at shelter" was adopted after a Winnsboro woman saw the picture and mistook the animal for her missing Labrador Retriever.
"I picked up the paper and my heart just dropped. I said 'that's my baby,'" said Sandy Anders.
While the dog is a close match to Cole— Anders' dog that has been missing since it somehow wandered away from her fenced in yard a couple of months ago—the dog in the shelter was not her dog.
Once she went to pick the dog up, however, it was love at first sight and Anders decided to adopt the animal, which now goes by the name "Gus."
Gus was one of four dogs kept in a pen in the animal shelter that prompted the Humane Society of Louisiana to launch an investigation of mistreatment of animals in the Winnsboro facility. The dogs, discovered without food or water, had been feeding off the carcass of another dog. Humane Society officials said this week that they are currently leading an investigation into the matter.
City officials said the dogs had been left unattended from last Friday until last Monday.
The shelter had been cleaned a few hours after officials were questioned by reporters. A new automated water system has since been installed for shelter animals kept outside, according to city workers.
The Winnsboro Police Department is responsible for overseeing the animal shelter, where animals are housed for a short time before being transfered to larger facilities in North Louisiana.
Louisiana law concerning animal shelters mandates that "All dogs over three months of age shall be fed at least once daily; providing at least one-half pound of food per twenty-five pounds of body-weight per dog. All dogs under three months shall have appropriate dry food available at all times or be fed a minimum of three times per day" and "clean, fresh water shall be available at all times for all animals."
The law further states "Any dead animals shall be removed from kennel area and immediately and properly disposed of," and that enclosures should be cleaned daily.
Winnsboro law penalizes residents who don't keep dog pens cleaned daily with fines and court costs.
Winnsboro Alderman Richard Mahoney said Monday that the city has been in contact with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to coordinate shelter improvements.
"We are going to make improvements. We have a plan of action from PETA and some guidelines have been set," he said. "When we found out we had a problem, we started taking corrective action."
Humane Society officials said early this week that they have interviewed a witness concerning the treatment of the dogs at the shelter and would work to make sure this isn't "swept under the rug."
Kevin Cobb, of the Franklin Parish Sheriff's Office, said parish law enforcement would most likely turn the matter over to the Louisiana State Police if they are asked to get involved.
Some of the dogs that were in the pen with Gus have already been euthanized, said Suzanne Laird of Liddieville, who has been working to find homes for the animals featured in the story. Laird said she was not contacted by the shelter before the animals were killed, even though she had requested that she be told in hopes that she could find people willing to take them in.
Anders is disappointed that it appears her dog, Cole is gone for good, but she is happy to welcome Gus into her family.
Gus will have lots of love and attention from her five children as he becomes acquainted with the family's other dog, a female Labrador mix named Zoey.
"He wasn't our dog, but he is now," Sanders said.
Those who would like to adopt shelter animals in Winnsboro can do so by calling the police department at 435-4307 or Winnsboro City Hall at 435-9087