Rescues step up as Burke Co. still waiting for animal shelter

Photo shows a dog left at a dump recently in Emanuel County, Ga.
Photo shows a dog left at a dump recently in Emanuel County, Ga.(WRDW)
Published: Jul. 1, 2019 at 7:09 PM EDT
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A graphic photo over the weekend showed a dead dog who was left at a dump in Emanuel County, Ga.

Dog dumping has become a large issue in certain areas across the state. Some counties, such as Burke County, don't even have an animal shelter.

In fact, Burke County started their Animal Services Department just two years ago.

Girard Livesafer Rescue in Burke County has around 80 animals under their care right now.

They say Burke County is leaving these animals behind and many more due to inaction with animal services.

Samantha Holton, owner of Girard Lifesaver Rescue, has rescued dogs for about 15 years. She has seen the problem since she started.

"This is a huge county. There's two rescues here," Holton said. "There's no way we can keep up with the amount of animals that can be surrendered."

She feeds, arranges foster homes and helps the pups in any way she can.

Her rescue takes donations, and sometimes it's out of pocket.

"The county hasn't offered to help with that even though we've done their job for almost a decade," Holton said.

Burke County has promised an animal shelter for a couple years now.

Director Chaddrick Parrish showed us plans in January.

He told me in a phone interview, and they expect final construction plans next week.

"Yes, its a slow process," said Director of Burke County Animal Services, Chaddrick Parrish. "But, we want to get it right the first time."

Holton says its taken too long.

"I see a courthouse going up on the corner," Holton said. "I see a YMCA, all this stuff and the shelter's been in the making for a long time now."

Parrish says he still doesn't know when construction will start. He's also not sure if it will be a kill shelter or not.

But, he hopes to build a better relationship with rescues.

"The county is thankful for those rescues," Parrish said. "We can't wait to start housing those ourselves and start helping with the rescues more."

Meanwhile, Holton keeps working.

"We just can't quit because little dogs like Peanut will," Holton said.