DECATUR, Ala. (WAFF) - UPDATE: Officials with the Decatur Police Department confirm nine dogs were surrendered to the city of Decatur after an investigation with Animal Control.
A statement from the Decatur Police Department says six adult dogs and three puppies were all taken from the home Friday afternoon.
Animal control originally visited the home after receiving multiple tips from concerned community members on March 16. Officers with animal control said they instructed the animals’ owner to move them to safer space and two take two dogs, one injured, one dead, to a local veterinarian for further examination.
Decatur police say one dog died from anemia, possibly due to a parasitic infestation. The other dog was returned to the owner after receiving treatment. Many people found out the dogs were returned to the owner, including those with animal control.
During a follow up visit on March 19, the caregiver agreed to give up all rights to the nine animals.
WAFF is told all of the surrendered animals will undergo a medical evaluation by a veterinarian.
This case remains under investigation. So far, Decatur police report there is no evidence to suggest any type of illegal dog fighting activity.
Read WAFF’s original story on the investigation below.
ORIGINAL: Unsettling images of animals chained up in Decatur have gone viral as the photos are being shared all across the country.
Many animal rights activists are speaking out and demanding answers.
Multiple dogs are covered in mud, chained up. For many, these photos are difficult to look at.
The investigation started after a woman took the photos of the yard in Decatur and posted them on Facebook.
That post now has over 5,000 shares and hundreds of concerned comments from people across the country, including, Donna Jones, an animal rescuer and activist who lives in Oregon.
“It happens in every single state and it’s almost like it’s becoming so common that the people just accept it and they say we’ll do something about it. Well who is that person that’s going to do something about it,” Jones said.
Decatur Animal Services is leading the investigation, which we’re told is ongoing.
Irene Cardenas-Martinez, the public information officer for the Decatur Police, says the owners of the dogs agreed to take them to the vet when Animal Services came out earlier this week.
“A care plan was established by the vet and Animal Services will be checking up every three days to make sure the dogs are being taken care of,” she said.
Cardenas-Martinez says all the dogs were examined, including the one found dead.
“That’s why it’s still under investigation. They’re still trying to determine what are the next steps in this,” Cardenas-Martinez said.
But people who have seen the photos, like Jones, says the dogs should have been removed from the owner’s care.
“If an owner has a dog they’re willing to do this to, it’s not going to get better. They’re probably going to comply until police and animal control are off their back and then it’s not going to change,” Jones said.
“Please, rest assured that we are investigating, we are taking action. We have the best interest of the animal in mind,” Cardenas-Martinez said.
Decatur police tell WAFF there could possibly be an arrest, but none have been made at this time.
We have not been given the address, so we were unable to reach the owners for a comment.
We will keep you updated.