GoFundMe money raised for dogs to go to ASPCA

Published 2:31 am Saturday, November 11, 2017


NATCHEZ — A GoFundMe account created to benefit animals discovered in a suspected dogfighting ring was deactivated Thursday after the ASPCA retrieved the dogs from the property.

The account had raised $26,415 at the time it was deactivated, just 24 hours after the account was created.

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These funds, Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten said, will be donated to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which has volunteered to provide the food and healthcare for the animals as long as the dogs are considered evidence in the suspected dogfighting case.

The GoFundMe account was set up by a sheriff’s office employee, Patten said, under a generic name. Several commenters on the GoFundMe questioned who “Jane Adams” was, but Patten said it was just a name an Adams County Sheriff’s Office employee chose.

Adams County Sheriff’s Office deputies found more than 56 emaciated dogs, many of which were wounded and left without access to water, Monday night after an anonymous tip pointed them toward the property.

In the course of the last week, nine of the dogs had to humanely euthanized due to life-threatening injuries.

The ACSO charged Tommie Queen, owner of the property on which the animals were found, with aggravated animal cruelty, receiving stolen property and 50 counts of felony dogfighting Thursday.

Had the sheriff’s office instead charged Queen with only aggravated animal abuse, Patten said the case may have only taken 30 days.

With dogfighting charges, however, the case may take as long as one year, Patten said, and the ASPCA will care for the approximately 45 dogs for the duration of that time.

Patten said the ASPCA has also offered to testify during any trials which arise in the continuing investigation and provide forensic evidence based off of both the animals and the canine skeletons found behind the home.

“The job they are doing for us,” Patten said, “It is worth well over $26,000.”

Patten said donating the raised funds to the ASPCA will fulfill the original intent of the donors — to help the dogs.

“It is only right for us to do this with the money, to give it to the care of the dogs,” Patten said.

Alyssa Fleck, media and communications manager at ASPCA, said in many cases similar the one on Miracle Road,  dogs can be sent to response shelters across the country where they may be put up for adoption after the disposition has been decided. It is too early, however, to know if that will be the case for the Natchez animals, she said.

“We have a robust partnership with response shelters across the country,” Fleck said.

The goal, she said, is simply to provide care for the dogs.

“The ASPCA’s Anti-Cruelty Behavior Team has not yet conducted behavior evaluations and it is too early to determine the outcome and placement options for these dogs,” Fleck wrote in an email. “The ASPCA’s immediate goal is to provide these dogs with the critical care they so badly need until disposition is determined.”