Photo of local dog being abandoned by owner goes viral - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Photo of local dog being abandoned by owner goes viral

ESSEX, VA (WWBT) -

The photo of a dog allegedly being abandoned by its owner before the owner drives off has gone viral. Now, the Essex County Animal Shelter is investigating.

The cell-phone picture was posted online along with the caption, "I got to watch a man dump his black lab on the side of the road and watch the sad sight of that poor dog trying to run after its owner." The vehicle's license plate number was also posted.

Angel Fennell is the manager of the Essex County Animal Shelter. She says, she ran the license plate number and spoke with the pick-up truck driver, an 80-year-old man who told her the dog isn't his.

Around the same time the photo was posted online, the animal shelter picked up at least two black dogs that fit the description in the photo. Unfortunately, Fennell says there is no way to confirm which dog, if any, is the abandoned dog captured in the picture.

"You can't see what kind of breed it is; if it's male, female; you can't tell anything other than it's a black dog," said Fennell.

Unfortunately, the picture was also posted on the shelter's Facebook page and stirred up much controversy. Fennell said, she received death threats and other complaints that the shelter wasn't doing enough to find the dog's owner and bring them to justice.

It got so bad, she finally shut the page down, even though that's the only way the shelter can advertise the dogs that come in.

"If nobody is seeing these dogs and rescue groups aren't seeing them, they get put down," said Fennell.

If you're interested in adopting a pet from the Essex County Animal Shelter, just call the number on your screen at (804) 443-0726.

Copyright 2013 WWBT NBC12.  All rights reserved.

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