Abandoned pit bull found tied to Antioch railroad track (112 hits)
By Paul Burgarino
Contra Costa Times
Posted: 05/07/2012 03:06:17 PM PDT
Updated: 05/07/2012 09:48:43 PM PDT
Georgia, and other neglected animals like her, is on the minds of the workers at the Antioch animal shelter.
The 2-year-old pit bull, affectionately named after the Ray Charles song, was found chained to a railroad track last week by city animal control workers.
Like animal shelters throughout Contra Costa County and the Bay Area, the Antioch shelter has seen a spike in cases of animals abandoned illegally at its doorstep, roaming around town, or left to fend for themselves on foreclosed properties.
"Unfortunately, this sort of thing happens all the time," said Monika Helgemo, the shelter's supervisor.
Adds Glenn Howell, Contra Costa animal services director: "When the economy goes bad, it's pretty typical to see an increase in the number of surrenders."
The number of euthanasia requests in Antioch has almost doubled from 2008 to 2011, while the number of owner animal surrenders has dropped from 190 in 2008 to 136 last year.
Antioch shelter workers see everything from pets left behind or without shade or water in the scorching sun to more serious cases of dogs being burned by chemicals, with rubber bands around their neck, or severe cuts and scrapes from being dragged behind automobiles, Helgemo said.
Additionally, residents regularly bring in stray litters of kittens, she said.
"We see the whole gamut, cases where the actions are intentional and cases that aren't intentional," Helgemo said. "It just breaks your heart, especially when people seem to have the idea that pets are disposable."
In Georgia's case, a homeowner told animal control officer Gabrielle Johnson on May 2 that the black brindle-colored pit bull was chained to a train track behind a Gary Avenue home.