Dogs receive care after being found during traffic stop

Dogs receive care after being found during traffic stop
The Burke County Sheriff's Office is speaking out after two abandoned pit bulls were found during a traffic stop on Highway 24. The dogs are now in good care but law enforcement says this is a wake up call to those who are mistreating animals.
There is no such thing as a routine traffic stop. The Burke County Sheriff's Office does not just stop a vehicle and write a ticket, there are certain indicators officers look for through conversation to see if there is any criminal activity at hand.

BURKE COUNTY, GA (WFXG) - In this case, driver Dontravis Levines and passenger Reginald McGee failed to stop at a stop sign and during conversation the deputy discovered a dog was in the trunk and after further investigation another dog was said to have been dumped off by them a couple of miles back. This is a first for the Burke County Sheriff's Office but they have four officers who have gone to training for animal cruelty specifically and are prepared to deal with cases like these.

"You know humans have a voice they can speak up for themselves to an extent, except for children and the elderly, but dogs and cats of that nature do not. So it is our job that our pets are being properly taken care of.", says Chief Deputy Lewis Blanchard. He also says they do not know if the dogs were stolen so for now both men are being charged with two counts of animal cruelty and one count of animal abandonment. The driver, Levines, has additional charges which are failure to stop at a stop sign and driving with suspended license.

This case is bringing a deeper focus on why it is important to have the animal shelter in Burke County completed; which is a big project the commissioners are working towards. Commissioners are down to the last few finalist for the new Animal Control Director. The animal shelter will help both law enforcement and the county find homes for abandoned animals. In the mean time, the sheriff's office is working with what they have especially in the case that is at hand.

"We do have some good rescue groups in the area and the rescue groups always come and help us. And in this case we had a couple of adoptive families that didn't mind taken care of the dogs for us until we find their owners.", explains Chief Blanchard.

The black pit bull has been cleared by the vet and has been handed over to an adoptive family. The family wants to permanently keep the dog if a owner does not claim it. The Sheriffs office is paying for the brown pit bull to stay at the vet to be treated for a few issues. Law enforcement is still looking for a foster family to adopt the brown pit bull.

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