Dr. Sherri Duncan, a local veterinarian, uses a stethoscope to check Dara the black Lab. The dog was rescued by deputies and firefighters Monday night.
A dog that was able to survive in the water after someone taped her mouth, tied her legs together and tossed her into the International Paper Company canal has been named Dara by Wendy Goude, director of the St. Frances Animal Center.
The story of Dara’s survival began at about 8:30 p.m. Monday when some men who were fishing in the canal on the gravel portion along Brick Chimney Road heard “some splashing noises” coming from the other side of the bridge.
When they went to investigate, they saw the dog in the water with duct tape around her muzzle.
“The dog was flopping around and they observed the dog had duct tape on (her) legs,” the report states, adding it was the front legs that were bound.
Deputies and county firefighters responded to the scene and after a struggle were able to lure the dog from the water.
At first, deputies thought the dog may have suffered a gunshot wound because of an injury on its head, according to Sheriff’s Office Lt. Michael Nelson.
It now appears the dog may have been hit with a blunt object, possibly a hammer, Goude said.
The dog — a black Labrador Retriever — was then transported to the Animal Center. On Tuesday morning she was taken to Harborwalk Veterinary Hospital on Front Street for treatment by Dr. Sherri Duncan.
The Lab — believed to be two or three years old — was named after Dara Torres, the first American to swim in five Olympics and the oldest female swimmer ever at the Games when she took part in the Beijing Games at age 41 back in 2008.
Torres missed a return to the Olympics by nine-hundredths of a second, finishing fourth in the 50-meter freestyle on the last night of the trials Monday.
Goude said she cannot imagine why someone would do something like this to a dog.
“That is why we need to have all pets spayed and neutered,” Goude said.
Once this story was posted on the Georgetown Times Website and Facebook page Monday night, readers expressed how they feel about the incident.
“That is sickening I cant believe someone would do something like that. And in all honesty, they should get the same thing done to them to see how they like it,” wrote Jackie Wyatt.
“Just makes me sick that someone could do that to a helpless animal. Whoever you are, I don't know how you can sleep at night,” Jeanie Goodwin wrote.
Pet Helpers of Charleston is offering a $200 reward for information that leads to the arrest of whoever is responsible.
Goude said if the dog had been dropped off at the Animal Center, she would have been taken care of by the staff so there was no excuse for someone to try to kill the dog.
“We would have fostered her out,” Goude said.
Once Dara is cleared medically, she can be placed for adoption by the clinic, Goude said.
In the meantime, Goude said the center is always in need of support from the public to help with Dara and 250-plus other animals who are in the clinic on a daily basis. To find out how to help, call the clinic at 546-0780.
Anyone with information that may help investigators find whoever tried to kill Dara should call 546-5102.
By Scott Harper
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