If theres one positive to come out of the break-in at the All About Animals rescue shelter, volunteers say its the way the community banded together in the wake of the tragedy that left three dogs dead, several others severely injured and all of them traumatized.
After someone, widely speculated to be involved in dogfighting, broke into the no-kill facility near Central City Park sometime late Wednesday or early Thursday morning and let dozens of dogs out of their kennels, waves of people have given donations or offered to help take care of the more than 60 dogs at the facility.
Its pretty incredible, said Mary Crawford, executive director of the rescue organization. I didnt know we had so many friends. Im feeling a great sense of community.
Carolyn Yager and other volunteers said there was a huge outpouring of donations Friday to All About Animals. People have dropped off food, medical supplies, blankets, bedding and chew toys, among other items.
Meanwhile, several Macon-area security companies stepped up to offer a free security system for the facility, which had no surveillance in place when the break-in happened. In addition, two people volunteered to each pay for a year of the monthly security bills.
Others helped out Friday by washing and walking the dogs, which Yager said was extremely helpful.
Crawford said the rescue group has received at least $2,000 in cash donations, as well as offers to pay for the dogs medical bills and boarding. Some people have donated new locks for the facility, she said.
Tracie Archebelle, of Dry Branch, was so moved by the news of the tragedy that she showed up Friday to adopt Lucy, a 3-year-old pointer mix that suffered minor injuries in the bloody fight.
Its just heartbreaking that they let the animals out, she said. Im ready to take my doggy home. I hope they catch whoever did this.
As Archebelle paid the $150 adoption fee, she donated an extra $10 for supplies.
Im sorry its only $10, Archebelle told Yager.
If everybody donated $10, wed be in great shape, Yager said, thanking her. Several other people offered Friday to foster dogs in All About Animals care.
The three dogs killed in the fight were American bulldog mixes named Butler, Jack and Flapjack. Volunteers said Friday they think another dog from a dogfighting ring was brought in to get acclimated to attacking other dogs. The volunteers said most of the dogs that were injured suffered bite marks and puncture wounds.
Crawford said the animals in her care hadnt given her any problems before.
They were all sweet dogs, every single one of them, she said.
Yager said the Middle Georgia veterinarians who treated the wounded animals reported Friday that they all survived the night.
Were incredibly thankful for that, she said, adding that eight dogs would be staying in Middle Georgia animal hospitals for the next few days for treatment.
Volunteer Liz Pinkerton stayed at the facility Thursday night to act as a security guard and planned to return Friday night as well.
Honestly, nothing shocks me, she said when talking about the break-in. We know what kind of element did this. ... Theres a lot of abused animals in the midstate.
In addition, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is offering up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest of those responsible.
People interested in donating cash or items to All About Animals can do so through its Facebook page, www.facebook.com/allaboutanimalsmacon.
Anyone with information is asked to call Macon Regional CrimeStoppers at 877-68-CRIME.
To contact writer Phillip Ramati, call 744-4334.