Last month, we told you about the dog who had been abandoned at a gas station and was seen chasing her owners, which led to this heartbreaking image that swept through social media:
Well, it turns out the dog was not abandoned. She was not chasing her owners. She was just being the dog she’d always been — Butterbean had been allowed to run free for six years, thanks to negligent owners. They knew she ran in traffic. They knew she liked to chase this particular truck, which belonged to her neighbor, down the road. But they did nothing to keep her safe and on their property.
Once the Humane Society of Louisiana tracked down the owners, it asked them to give up custody of the dog. They refused, and said they “intended to keep the dog tethered outside.” Knowing that’s not much of a life for a dog, the Humane Society got in touch with St. Tammany Animal Control, who issued a warning to the owners over their treatment of the dog — and offered another option: Give up Butterbean. This time, the owners took the Humane Society up its offer, pocketing $400 from donors in the process.
“We certainly don’t like to reward this kind of behavior, but sometimes it simply takes too long for cases to move through the legal system,” said Jeff Dorson, director of the Humane Society of Louisiana. “Our first concern was Butterbean’s safety. We were convinced she could be let loose again to run in traffic at any time, and we might miss our opportunity to intervene.”
“The owners have also signed an agreement not to chain or tether any animal in future or allow them to roam at large,” she said.
As for Butterbean, she’s up for adoption, and many people have already offered to take her. The Humane Society of Louisiana has also set up a Butterbean Buddies campaign to “help shed light on the fact that countless thousands of Louisiana dogs are chained, abandoned, or are otherwise neglected each year.”
“If only a handful of people concerned about Butterbean pitched in to help, we could save thousands of dogs here in Louisiana,” said Dorson. “Typically, it costs us about $500 to rescue, vet, and neuter a homeless dog, including the cost of heartworm treatment. If we house, feed, care for and place the dog through our our cross-country adoption program, TransPUPtation, we’re looking at another $500 per dog.”
“We’d love to save 500 dogs or more through our Butterbean Buddies during the next year.”
If you’d like to help out Butterbean’s Buddies, visit the donation page.
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