RICHMOND, Va. -- Richmond Animal Care and Control wasn't able to save an injured dog found on the side of the road Tuesday.
Video of the senior golden retriever mix, affectionately named Susie, sparked outrage on social media after RACC indicated they believed she may have been dumped. They said she was wrapped in a bandage with no chip or collar.
"When they got there, they found that she was down, unable to stand, unable to walk, unable to do anything except lift her head up a little bit," said Animal Control Supervisor, Robert Leinberger.
Leinberger said he believed she’d been laying in a hot, damp grassy area near Afton Avenue and Lynhaven Avenue for almost 24 hours before a concerned citizen called animal control.
"It’s very sad because this animal needed help, and unfortunately, the help came a little too late," said Leinberger. "Maybe if we had known about it 24 hours prior to, there might’ve been a better intervention."
Once officers got her to an emergency vet, Leinberger said they realized she couldn't be saved.
"They removed the bandage and then it was, wow this was really bad," Leinberger said. "It’s horrifying because you know that animal needs help, but at the same time, that help is going to come in the form of euthanasia. It’s the last means of help we can give, so this animal is no longer suffering."
RACC said in a Facebook post that under the bandage were multiple necrotic wounds -- and that Susie was becoming septic.
"We hugged her close and said goodbye," RACC said in their post.
That post on Richmond Animal Care and Control’s Facebook was racking up more than 500 shares and hundreds of comments. People responded with both anger and heartbreak.
"Thank you for making sure she died in a loving environment rather than out there all alone," said Katherine Strassel.
Sarah Carey, who worked for Virginia Veterinary Centers, said she was with Susie in her last moments.
"She was the sweetest and we shared some yummy treats and McDonald's fries before she peacefully went to the long sleep," said Carey. "She was warm, comfy and had a full tummy and love."
Others called for justice.
"Heartbreaking. I hope the owners are found and brought to justice. Unforgivable," said Ginny Reynolds.
While the Facebook post from RACC indicated that abandonment was believed to be the case, Leinberger said it was something they're working to determine and that they understand that accidents do happen.
"We do have, from time to time, older dogs wander away and they don’t know how to get back," Leinberger said.
He added that abandonment should never be an option -- as there were many things a pet owner could do if they could no longer take care of their animal, such as reaching out to RACC.
"That’s the worst thing you can possibly do is to dump the dog," said Leinberger.
Either way, he said RACC was asking the owner to reach out.
"Because we don't want this to happen again. If this is the method that an individual thinks is the way to get rid of a dog, it's the wrong way. If a pet truly got away, we’ll address that too."
Leinberger said if it was determined the dog was dumped, that owner could face criminal charges.
RACC asked anyone who saw anything or recognized the dog to call them at 804-646-5573.