JONES COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - WARNING: GRAPHIC PHOTOS!
A Jones County animal rescue facility has received enough donations for a dog that they think was shot with a bow-and-arrow.
Heather Williams, director for the Southern Cross Animal Shelter, said as of Wednesday afternoon, the dog, Jude, is doing well and is going to recover with one of the SCAR employees in foster care.
According to a SCAR Facebook post, Jude's vet bill has been paid in full from donations and then some extra for his care over the next few weeks.
"Thank you to everyone who donated to his vet bill, sent us kind words and shared his story! We will be posting about his court case as soon as we know more," the Facebook post read.
Jude's vet bill at Parkside Animal Hospital was $1,256, according to SCAR.
Williams said they received a report of an injured animal that needed urgent medical help Wednesday.
Williams said a neighbor saw the dog, was able to take photos and send them into SCAR. Williams said when she saw the severity of the injuries in the photos, she immediately contacted law enforcement.
"When we had the photos sent to us, it was just shock," Williams said. "We thought for sure it was already deceased, but we were told it was alive and had been struggling with these injuries for at least a day, 24 hours, and we went straight into action."
When they arrived on scene with a deputy, Williams said the owners admitted to knowing that the dog had been injured for over 24 hours, but refused to take it to the vet for medical help.
"They have a choice whether they want to buy a fancy bed, high quality dog foods for their pets and treats like that," said Williams. "But, they don't have a choice to provide food and shelter and medical needs. If an animal is injured and requiring medical care, it is required by law to give it that medical care. You don't have a choice for that."
Deputies told the owners they could take the dog to the vet or would have to turn the dog over and possibly face charges. Williams said the owner's response was, "well, just shoot him."
SCAR filed charges against both of the dog's owners Thursday morning.
"The state of Mississippi has to wake up to the fact that this is happening all around us. And if we don't take a stand, report it and help these animals and do something about it, we are never going to get out of this vicious cycle," said Williams.
The dog, Jude, has a 7 inch long and four inch wide wound.
"This is not something that was a minor abrasion, that an owner can plead ignorance and say 'I thought it would heal.' You don't need medical background to see that needed emergency treatment," Williams said.
Under current Mississippi law, a person found guilty of committing simple or aggravated cruelty against a dog or cat can only be charged with a single offense. Those convicted can face fines ranging from $1,000 for simple cruelty and up to $2,500 for aggravated cruelty. A bill proposed earlier this year at the capitol for stricter penalties when it comes to animal abuse, died in committee.
"This is a big county, and we can't be everywhere at once," said Williams. "Without people speaking up and reporting it, we can't take that next step in speaking up and getting justice."
If you would like to donate to help Jude, or any other animal at SCAR, click here.