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Reward raised for Sassy; more dogs shot

Several dogs have been killed along Williams Mill Road recently after being shot with what some residents think is a high-powered rifle. The owners of Sassy, a pit bull that was shot on Christmas Eve, are still searching for the person who killed their dog and they are now backed by a group of supporters. The Atlanta Humane Society and Norred & Associates are joining in to offer a $5,000 reward for information leading to the successful apprehension, prosecution and conviction of the person(s) responsible for Sassy’s death. ’This is a horrendous act of animal cruelty and it will not be tolerated in our community,’ said Cal Morgan, President and CEO of the Atlanta Humane Society. ‘The person or persons who committed this act need to face the consequences for their actions and the Atlanta Humane Society, alongside our partners at Norred & Associates, is dedicated to seeking justice for Sassy and her family.’ Those with information about this crime can anonymously call the Norred & Associates tip line at 1-877-215-2250 or Pike County Animal Control at 770-567-2007. Sassy, a 12-year-old member of the family who live on Williams Mill Road, was shot in the stomach and died after dragging herself up on the porch and to the door of the family’s home. The brutal photo was posted on facebook and raised an uproar in the Pike County community and beyond. Sassy’s owners, Adrienne Gordy and George Williams shared their story on Fox 5. Since then, a photo of two other dogs that were shot in the Molena area were posted on social media by Lany Dodson. ’This is so cruel and heartbreaking. Someone has shot and killed these two dogs and dumped them on Mountain View Road near the creek in Molena,’ said Dodson. ‘One of them has a collar so it’s obviously someone’s pet. Please share in case someone is missing or looking for them.’ Loren Pryor, the daughter of Adrienne Gordy, lives in the area where the two dogs were shot after the new year. The dogs were left on the side of Mt. View Road and reported to animal control on Friday, Jan. 6. ’We think they were dumped there because they didn’t belong to any of the neighbors and nobody recognized them,’ said Pryor. ‘I went out there in the cold to check and see if they were shot and they were. Their gunshot wounds were very similar to the one that killed Sassy. The entry wound was small and the exit wound was very big.’ The family believes other dogs are being targeted in the county as well. ’The Monday after Sassy was shot, I went to every house on Williams Mill Road and four people said that they had dogs that were shot in a three-week period,’ said Williams. Two residents of Williams Mill Road confirmed to the Journal Reporter that their dogs had been shot in that time frame. Denver Dickson said his dog Sugar Baby was shot in mid-December. ’She does pretty good about staying on our property,’ he said of his 5-acre property on Williams Mill Road. ‘One day she came limping back in the yard missing half her foot and her bone was exposed. I don’t think she will ever have use of her foot again because it tore out most of her bone and tissue. It takes a sick, hateful person to do this type of thing.’ He said after a $250 vet visit, his dog is healing well. He believes some sort of high-powered rifle is being used to shoot dogs in the area. ’I’ve shot guns most of my life and I leave for work early in the morning. I heard someone shooting what sounded like a high-powered rifle early in the morning near the road about three days ago,’ he said in an interview with the Journal Reporter Jan. 11. What Dickson may have heard was the gunshots that killed Nugget, a family pet that was found in the driveway next to their home on the morning of Monday, Jan. 9. Robbie Skinner went out to his ex-wife’s house to search for shell casings after he was informed of the dog’s unnerving death. ’Nugget was usually in the chainlink fence and when my ex-wife drove up, the gate was closed and the dog was laying in the neighbor’s driveway across the road,’ he said. ‘We also have a black lab and it was still in the fence. I wouldn’t think any of the neighbors would have shot him. We’ve never had a problem with neighbors shooting dogs out here before. When you hear your 10-year-old daughter calling you crying after she finds her dog dead, it’s really devastating. This case has been turned over to animal control, but they don’t have the resources or manpower to investigate these shootings.’ The sheriff’s office, which initially investigated a couple of the complaints has a policy to turn animal incident reports over to the county’s animal control officer within 24 hours. ’Every call is important to us and we take each of them seriously,’ said sheriff Jimmy Thomas. ‘We respond to every call that comes in to the best of our ability. The protocol is to turn animal-related issues over to animal control and they have advised that they have an open investigation on the case. We hope they are able to solve it.’ Animal control officer Tanya Perkins has been handling cases in Pike County since she was appointed to the position in August 2015. She said the recent cases involving dogs being shot are the first such cases that have been reported to her. In the last month, there have been three cases of dogs being shot to death reported to her. ’We’ve been working hard on these cases and I would love to find out who is doing this,’ she said. ‘I get animal calls every day but mainly in Pike County we deal with dangerous or vicious dogs and nuisance dogs. We usually deal with complaints from neighbors and we send letters to the dog owners and issue citations if necessary. These incidents are under investigation so I can’t comment on them further except to say I would love to be able to find out who is responsible and charge them with cruelty to animals.’ There are no leash laws in Pike County except for the area around the recreation department and subdivisions that have approved leash laws.

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