A woman who fed a stray dog is fined hundreds of dollars for not taking better care of it.
Debby Poulsen said she was only trying to be a Good Samaritan. She owns four pets and volunteers to feed stray cats outside her porch for Indy Feral. The animal-lover never thought she’d be accused of abusing them.
“I was in shock. I mean, I couldn’t believe it. We just tried to help,” said Poulsen. “He was outside. I knew he was hungry so I started throwing him some hot dogs and he kept eating them. Then I thought, ‘You know what? I’m going to put a can of dog food out here for him.’”
Poulsen saw the 3-year-old Collie mix roaming around her neighborhood two years ago. It stops by her house every couple of months looking for food. Last Saturday, the pup finally came close enough for Poulsen to notice something was wrong.
“It could have been an eye infection, I don’t know but his eye was gone and the whole back of his neck was raw meat,” she said.
Poulsen said the dog was wearing a steel collar that was eating into its skin. She immediately took it to the Indianapolis Animal Care and Control to get some help.
“Oh, I was sick to my stomach. I was just literally sick that someone could do that to an animal,” said Poulsen. “My only concern at that point was to try to get him help.”
Poulsen said while she was filing paperwork and writing a donation check to Animal Care & Control, she was handed four tickets for bringing in an animal without proof of rabies shots, not wearing a rabies or permanent ID tag and care and treatment.
While Poulsen maintains it is not her dog, staff at Animal Care and Control say according to law — it is.
“I mean, if you’re feeding an animal for two years, you’re obviously taking care of that animal and looking out for its best interests,” said Adam Garrett, Community Outreach Coordinator for Indianapolis Animal Care and Control.
Poulsen said animal control officers have always taken too long to rescue strays, and wanted to help the dog immediately.
“I will take a ticket and pay it rather than that dog or animal go hungry,” she said.
Poulsen and Animal Care and Control don’t want to discourage people from bringing stray animals in. If you do have any concerns, call Animal Care and Control or any other rescue organization immediately.