(Placerville, CA) - El Dorado County Animal Services is looking for information from anyone who may have witnessed two German Shepherd dogs being abandoned on Highway 50 near Bridal Veil Falls and Fresh Pond in El Dorado County earlier this month. The young adult male dogs, which were found malnourished and with their metal chain collars embedded into their necks, were rescued by El Dorado County Animal Services officers and are now safely at the Animal Services Shelter in Diamond Springs.
"It appears the dogs were not only abandoned but also severely neglected," said Henry Brzezinski, Chief of El Dorado County Animal Services. "We're thankful to have the dogs safely in our care, but trying to learn more about what occurred and what caused someone to commit this cruel act."
According to Brzezinski, Animal Services officers went to great lengths to capture the dogs so that they could be helped. "The dogs were very frightened and ran and hid in an area of the forest with steep terrain that was difficult for our officers to access," said Brzezinski. "Over the next week, we continued to patrol and look in the area for the dogs. We knew they were still there and must be tired and hungry. We had placed a humane trap with food for bait in the area, but the dogs are large dogs and they were leery of the trap."
Animal Services officers then came up with a creative solution. "One of our officers had heard of a unique trap called a Missy Trap that is used to humanely capture larger domestic animals when conventional traps don't work," said Brzezinski. "We decided to give it a try. Staff researched the necessary materials, which included livestock fencing panels, and put the trap together. We also placed a remote camera near the trap so that our on-call officer would be alerted if the dogs went inside."
According to Brzezinski, the trap worked. The dogs were captured on the evening of Saturday, September 19, 2020, and transported to the veterinarian to receive a medical exam and needed care. The veterinarian confirmed that both of the dogs were malnourished, one severely, and that surgery was needed to remove the metal chain embedded in the neck of one of the dogs. The other dog's chain was removed by Animal Services clinic staff. Both dogs received the medical care they needed and were then transported to the Animal Shelter.
Animal Services is reporting that both dogs, which have been given the names Toby and Ash by shelter staff, are doing better now and recovering. "They both were very scared at first, but they're starting to feel more comfortable, eating and responding to follow up care by our shelter staff. We expect them to fully recover," said Brzezinski.
"We are proud of the excellent teamwork and coordination by our Western Slope and South Lake Tahoe Animal Services units so that we could have a successful outcome for the dogs," said Brzezinski. "I'd also like to thank our partners at the California Highway Patrol - Placerville office who provided assistance."
Animal Services is asking anyone with information about this case to please contact them at (530) 621-5795.
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These two German Shepherd dogs, abandoned on Highway 50 earlier this month, were rescued by El Dorado County (EDC) Animal Services. The dogs were found with their metal chain collars embedded in their necks and malnourished. They are now safely at the EDC Animal Services Shelter. Anyone with information about these dogs and how they came to be abandoned is asked to contact Animal Services.
Animal Services officers built this unique trap, called a Missy Trap, to safely and humanely capture the dogs.