Advocates Rally for Tougher Laws in Marion County Following Dog Shooting

JASPER, TN (WDEF) – “It’s just very kamikaze over here. I feel like it’s the old Wild West sometimes,” says April Bowden who is the Director of Operations for Marion Animal Resource Connection. Jax is a Husky that was allegedly shot by a neighbor after wondering off his leash onto the neighbor’s property.

“She was having a play day, letting the dog run around a big field and he got away from her and she was looking for him and he was shot,” says Bowden
Joy Summers who owned the dog heard the gun shots. Local advocates say this didn’t have to happen. They formed Justice for Jax to raise awareness on animal cruelty issues.

“In our area, it’s very complicated because we do not have animal control here so people don’t have a way to get help if they’re frustrated with an animal and they tend to take things into their own hands,” says Bowden.

Summers alleges aggravated animal cruelty against the man who shot Jax, a misdemeanor punishable by a year in jail and a $2500 fine. Her friends say she never saw the dog again after he was shot.

“The most horrible thing about it is she did not get to bury her dog or to have that closure. We just want to raise some awareness and make people, make it known that if you hurt someone’s animal, they can file legal charges against you,” says Justice for Jax advocate Michelle Story.

With no county shelter, many dogs are sent to Marion Animal Resource Connection – or MARC. They are a no-kill shelter rescuing dozens of dogs a year.
Bowden says they get atleast 100 calls a year of shot dogs.

“That is what these farmers think should be done to the animals that trespass on to their property.”

Multiple calls to the Marion County Mayor’s office trying to get more information on the county’s animal laws or the status of a county-funded program have not been answered.

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