BRYSON CITY – Authorities in a western North Carolina county that has no animal shelter are investigating a case where a dog was found in a trash bin alongside a dead dog.
Thomas Carswell found the dog Wednesday in a container off U.S. 19 outside Bryson City when he was dropping off trash.
The dog had pushed his head and paws out of the bag, Carswell said. “I’m sure it woke up and was suffocating,” he said. “They had to have known the dog was still breathing when they put it in the trash bag.”
Veterinarians at Noah’s Ark Companion Animal Hospital in Franklin are caring for the dog, which they named Bryson. The dog’s muzzle and face were injured.
“He’s doing a heck of a lot better. He still has some bleeding in his nose,” said Dr. Jessica Tracy, who was caring for the dog. Bryson probably has some fractures, but he wants to eat, wants attention, and “he’s wagging his tail whenever any of us come around.”
Carswell’s wife, Love, said the dog seemed to have suffered a crushed muzzle. “It took a heck of a lot of force. The dog was bleeding through its nostrils, and it could not open its mouth there was such heavy swelling,” she said.
Love Carswell, a retired 911 dispatcher, said she received hundreds of calls about animal abuse over the years.
“We’re so passionate about this. I have seen this so many times, cases of cruelty and abuse. We’ve had to deal with this for years and years and years. We’ve just had enough,” she said.
Swain County does not have a county-run animal shelter. The Swain County Sheriff’s Office has a difficult time even finding a place to take vicious dogs, said Chief Deputy Jason Gardner.
Authorities don’t have a suspect yet, Gardner said.
Swain County leaders have talked about getting animal control and a shelter, but they have never moved ahead with it, Gardner said.
Love Carswell said she doesn’t believe commissioners have made it a priority to build an animal shelter. “I feel like it’s not given the serious consideration that it warrants,” she said.
County manager Kevin King was out of the office Friday, officials said. The Associated Press sent emails to King and five county commissioners seeking comment and left a phone message with the board clerk.