By WAYNE ALLEN
PDT Staff Writer
A 3-year-old boxer is back home Monday and apparently in no imminent danger following a flurry of accusations of neglect against its owner on Facebook.
Portsmouth Animal Control Officer Wendy Payton said she was called to Carrie Gerald’s Laurel Street house Tuesday about a possibly abandoned dog.
“The complaint was received about 9 a.m. and I was at the house within that hour,” Payton said. “When there I observed a very thin dog. It did have food water and shelter.”
She said she left a note on the door, which is Portsmouth City Health Department policy.
“I left and within a two-hour period (Gerald) called me back. We discussed this matter and I ordered her to take the dog to the veterinarian to be checked out. I wanted to know what caused this dog to be in this condition as a part of my ongoing investigation. She agreed she would take the dog that day,” Payton said.
Gerald said they got Tyson in August as a rescue dog.
“I’ve been treating him for mange and it almost went away,” Gerald said. “At the end of September or middle of October it started all over again.”
She said she didn’t know it was hereditary and she started treatments again.
Gerald, who uses her maiden name DeLotell on Facebook, said she was getting ready to take Tyson to the vet on Tuesday when she noticed him missing.
Payton said she saw on Facebook on Tuesday night that Rhonda Rose had taken the dog.
“When the dog was taken, Rose did not post a note so DeLotell did not know where the dog was,” Payton said. “I went and spoke with the veterinarian the next day. The veterinarian said the dog was in good enough condition that it could be released. He released the dog and I contacted the owner and told her that I had found the dog.”
Payton said Gerald met her at Scioto Trail Animal Clinic and she released the dog to her. She said Dr. Dennis Wilcox again examined the dog and gave Gerald the proper medication for treatment.
Wilcox said he diagnosed Tyson with generalized demadex and intestinal parasitism (hookworms) and prescribed several medications. He also scheduled a follow-up exam in two weeks to check the dog’s progress.
Rhonda Rose said she took the dog because of Tyson’s condition and she was told the home was abandoned.
“When I went to the house, the dog was one of the worst I’ve seen, it was that emaciated,” Rose said. “It had the mange, a lot of the hair was off. So, I knocked on the door, no one responded. I was told the dog was left and abandoned.”
Rose said it was her duty to take the dog.
“I have a right to do that with the way the law is written,” Rose said. “If people would just get educated on the laws even a citizen can do that. I had the right to take that dog.”
Payton said that’s not the case, however.
“If you follow proper protocol and procedures, the property is supposed to be posted,” Payton said. “That way the owner can get a hold of the agency that has removed the animal from the property. In this case there was no notice, the dog was just gone.”
She said the way the dog’s removal was handled is illegal but she wouldn’t comment if Rose would face a theft charge for taking Tyson.
“He is fine now and we are treating him,” Gerald said of Tyson. “He is well taken care of and he sleeps with my son, Isaac.”