A family pet was euthanized at the Polk County animal shelter within 24 hours after his capture in Aragon. I spoke with Rob Wilkes, the pet’s owner about what happened on that fateful day.
On Wednesday, February 22, 2012, a Polk County animal control officer was dispatched to the Dollar General store in Aragon, Ga.; due to a stray dog in the parking lot. Animal control responded and took the dog into custody.
The dog’s owner, Rob Wilkes noticed that his pet, Ace; was missing when he arrived home from work that evening. According to Rob, Ace was a gentle, sweet dog who loved attention. The Wilke’s pets stayed inside and were not prone to wondering very often.
Ace had got out before and visited the area of the local Dollar General store, so Rob had a family member stop by the store on his was home to look for Ace. The family member discovered that Ace had been picked up by animal control.
The very next morning at 8 am; Rob’s wife, Kristie; started calling the Polk County animal shelter but no one answered. She finally made contact with a rescue worker who advised her that the shelter did not open until noon.
Kristie was shocked when she called back at noon and was advised that their precious Ace had already been euthanized. According to Rob, animal control advised Kristie that Ace had been hit by a vehicle and was suffering from internal injuries. She was informed that Ace was bleeding from the mouth and was in pain.
Kristie, falling apart called her husband at work to inform him of the news.
Rob and Kristie spoke with employees of Dollar General and they informed the family that Ace was fine at the time animal control took him. One of the employees even stated that they knew that Ace belonged to someone local and that the animal control officer assured her that Ace would be fine.
Rob contacted the head of Public Safety in Polk County as well as the police officer that made the call to 911 requesting animal control. According to Rob, the police officer attested to Ace’s well-being at the time he was captured.
According to an interview with George Franco of Atlanta’s Fox 5; Randy Lacey, Polk County Public Safety Coordinator, says Ace was in violation of the leash law, without any tags, running free. He said the normal policy to euthanized dogs after five days; He says an internal investigation will determine if policies were violated when Ace was put down. Lacey said they are investigating to see if the dog had any medical issues that could it to be a danger to other animals.
The Wilkes say that Ace was not carrying any contagious disease; however he was being treated for a skin disorder. The Wilkes point to Kitty, their other dog, who is healthy, as proof that Ace was not carrying any contagious disease.
“They shouldn’t have killed him in that time frame that they did and then to dispose of him in the way they did. He’s part of my family,” said Robbie Wilkes. “My poor, sweet puppy, I loved him so much, and I’m going to miss him so badly.”
The investigation should be completed sometime this week. For Rob and his family, the loss of Ace has been heartbreaking. Rob vows to do his best to ensure that this issue does not go unanswered and that this does not happen again to anyone else.
Click here to view the Fox 5 interview with the family.
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