UPDATE: 2/4 at 2:49 pm
A sad update to a story we've been following for you. According to a post on the Lincoln County Humane Society's Facebook page, a dog left tied to mile mark post during freezing cold temperatures has been put down due to his aggressive behavior.
The post reads as follows:
It is with very heavy hearts that we inform you of Scout's passing today.
After Scout's experiences, he was simply too aggressive to be considered safe for adoption. Scout was being fostered with a family that has more than 20 years experience working with dogs and he could not overcome his inclination to bite, especially when men were near him. We are so very sorry for all of Scout's suffering and hope whoever did these things to him will be turned in and brought to justice.
Please, when you see animal abuse, don't turn the other way. You are the only thing standing between that animal and a lifetime of suffering. Think of Scout and help prevent animal abuse & cruelty.
The Lincoln Co. Sheriff's Dept. still has no leads in this case. "We'd like to find out who did this, so it can be handled," Deputy Mike Sundquist said.
Sundquist was the one who initially responded to the call that a dog was out near the highway.
"It was well below zero at that time," he said. "It upset me. I'm a dog lover. I have two dogs of my own. And to see it abandoned out there, in subzero temperatures for we don't know how long, was pretty disheartening."
He says law enforcement are relying on tips from the public to help catch the person responsible.
"Anybody who might have seen somebody there during that time of day on that day," Sundquist said. "Just regular abandonment of an animal is up to a $500 fine. But abandonment or neglect resulting in death or dismemberment is a class I felony, which could result in up to $10,000 fine plus possible jail time."
Call the Lincoln Co. Sheriff's Dept. if you have any information at: 715-536-6272.
UPDATE: 1/25 at 3:59 pm
A dog found tied to a post along Highway 51 near Exit 205 in Merrill earlier this week, will be going to a long-term foster home. According to the Lincoln County Humane Society, “Scout”, is very overwhelmed at the shelter and is not ready for adoption, although many people have inquired since hearing his story. The humane society thanks everyone for their support.
To join in supporting Scout you can e-mail Blair Hubbard at email@example.com
ORIGINAL STORY: 1/21 at 9:33 pm.
Just like us humans, animals' health is also at risk in this bitterly cold weather. Even though they have those natural fur coats, they can experience hypothermia and even die if they're left outside for too long.
Sadly, that was almost the case for one dog Monday morning. A stray was found tied to a post along Highway 51 near Exit 205 in Merrill.
"The dog appeared to be in relatively good health, a little skittish, a little nervous to strangers," said Lt. Tim Fischer with the Lincoln Co. Sheriff's Office.
Deputies picked up the dog after a concerned driver called law enforcement. Since the area is one with a significant amount of traffic, it seems the dog was noticed soon after it had been abandoned.
"Just had a collar on it with no tags, no identification," Lt. Fischer said. "And the loop handle to the leash was just over the delineation post."
Deputies took the dog to the Lincoln Co. Humane Society. Employees don't know how old he is or even the breed, but they do know he's in desperate need of a loving home.
"I think it's terrible," said Tiffany Tupa with the humane society. "I don't know why somebody would do that. Somebody wouldn't want that to happen to them. I mean, if you can't handle being outside, why would you do that to an animal, especially when they can't defend themselves and you tie them up like that. They can't go anywhere to get away from the cold or anything like that."
Lt. Fischer says only one word comes to mind when he thinks about why someone would do this to an animal on the coldest day of the year: "Cold-hearted. I'm a dog owner. I love dogs, I love animals. Cold-hearted. That's all I can say."
Tupa wants to remind pet owners, if they ever decide they can't care for their pets, the best way to make sure they'll be safe is to drop them off at the shelter--it's free if money is an issue. "We definitely rather you drop an animal off if you can't afford it. That's fine. We'll work with people," Tupa said. "But we'd rather not have them leave them tied up to the side of the road."
Tupa also has some important tips for pet owners during this cold blast. "If it's too cold for you, it's probably too cold for them. And definitely there's a difference in breeds, some animals can handle it better than others, but not all of them are like that. And if you do have to leave them out, make sure that they've got the proper bedding, shelter, heated water bowl so it's not constantly freezing on them."
Anyone who mistreats an animal can face a fine or even prison time. So far, Lincoln Co. authorities don't have a suspect in this dog mistreatment case.