Humane agents have a tough job.
And often times, they see animals in heartbreaking situations that they can’t immediately resolve.
Thirty years ago, Kerry Manion made a commitment to animals and their companions.
He’s investigated thousands of abuse, cruelty and neglect cases.
In many, intervention comes too late, but for others, it comes just in time.
In February, Manion saved Lily and Mo. Lily was found beaten with a hammer. Mo was stabbed seven times in the chest.
Today, the two are both fully recovered.
Parker, too, is one of the lucky ones.
“He’s been here since October,” Manion said. “He’s been abandoned. People had lived in an apartment with Parker and they moved out, eventually evicted, and left Parker behind.”
Manion, a senior humane agent, says his work with the Capital Area Humane Society is far from done.
“The first call we’re running on is a dog abandoned on some property on the northwest side of town,” he said.
Manion works on few details, other than that neighbors said the dog’s owner died in November and family members could no longer take care of him.
Once on scene, loud barking is heard almost immediately. Manion said it was the third time he tried to make contact with family members after neighbors expressed concern about the dog.
“It was almost like a two-week stretch,” said a neighbor. “None of us noticed he was here, so that’s when I started calling.”
The property owner showed up moments later and let 10TV News’ cameras into the apartment, where Manion said he believed a friendly German Shepard was living alone for months.
The apartment’s living room and kitchen were in disarray, and although there was a bag of dog food, the dog appeared hungry.
Manion said that aside from overgrown nails, the German Shepard appeared healthy.
The next stop, also on the northwest side, is a report of another dog left alone.
“The report is that the owner hasn’t been seen at the property in some time. We’ll check on the dog’s wellbeing and leave a note for the owner to contact us,” Manion said.
Two excited dogs are found tangled in tattered curtains – no food or water in sight.
Feces are littered all over the living room floor, and the dogs have been throwing themselves up against the glass.
Manion says he cannot go in the house, but if he does not hear from the owner within in a day, the dogs would be rescued.
“Your heart bleeds for the animals,” he said. “You see them in that situation and wish they could be kept in a better environment, but your hands are legally tied.”
The owner is instructed by note to either clean up the home or remove the animals within 24 hours.
“By our hearts of hearts, we want to do something immediately, but if we violate the law and risk moving the animals, then we lose credibility in the eyes of the court,” he said.
In this case, the owners of the dogs did the right thing and removed the animals from the house the next day.
As for the German Shepard, he underwent a medical evaluation and will soon be up for adoption.
Manion said that in the meantime, he will continue on his decades-long animal companion crusade one door knock at a time – a job he says truly makes a difference.
“If you don’t rescue an animal every day and try to make an impact on somebody every day, then we’re not doing our job,” Manion said.
The Capital Area Humane Society depends on the imput from the public.
For more information about how to report animal cruelty, neglect or abandonment, click here.
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Humane agents have a tough job.