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  • Last modified 18 days ago (Nov. 29, 2017)

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Euthanized dog leads to cyber-bullying attack

Choice made after attempts to find owner of aggressive animal failed

Staff writer

A canine picked up near the highway by Florence police left a local business taking the brunt of a cyber-bullying attack over the weekend after the dog was euthanized.

The dog was taken to Animal Health Center in Marion, owned by veterinarian Jessica Laurin.

According to a post on the center’s social media page, the dog was acting aggressively toward high school students who tried to walk it, suggesting the possibility it may have been abused. Center personnel determined the dog was not a candidate for adoption.

The dog reportedly had no tags or a microchip when it was brought in.

After a week of unsuccessfully trying to track down the dog’s owner or finding someone who could work with the aggressive dog, the dog was deemed harmful to public safety and euthanized.

Disgruntled citizens who became aware of the situation took to AHC’s social media page to lambast Laurin and her colleagues for the decision to put the dog down. The posts appeared to have been removed prior to Tuesday.

In a different social media post, Stacey Collyar Ferrell of Peabody claimed to be the dog’s owner and expressed anger and sadness.

“Animal Health Center of Marion County murdered my dog,” Ferrell wrote. “A week after their posting him and he’s gone. He wasn’t even given 30 days or a second thought. Yes, I’m angry and very, very sad.”

Ferrell wrote that she had tried to follow every lead she was given to find the dog. The lone attempt to contact AHC came after it was too late to save the animal.

An AHC employee said the first thing AHC does with animals that have been turned in is try to locate the owners, which can be done more easily if they have tags or microchips. Pictures of animals awaiting adoption and those turned in as strays are regularly posted on AHC’s social media page.

The employee confirmed that they did not hear from Ferrell until after the dog had been euthanized.

Euthanasia is the last, and often only, resort with animals believed to jeopardize safety.

The cyber-bullying attack caused Laurin to stress the importance of tags and microchips for pets to prevent tragedy.

Tags are usually marked with numbers that allow the veterinarian who tagged the animal to contact the owner, or whoever paid to have it tagged, should it be recovered.

A microchip allows the animal to be tracked by owners and veterinarians through a website from which it was purchased.

The chips, such as HomeAgain, and PetRecovery, can be purchased through veterinarians and pet supply outlets.

Last modified Nov. 29, 2017

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