SAN ANTONIO – A little dog at the center of a huge controversy involving Animal Care Services could soon be headed to a new home.
A photo of the dog, known as Jake, ignited anger of people nationwide when it was posted last week on social media. The photo showed an ACS officer holding the dog off the ground by a pole, a loop around the animal's neck and front leg.
"One of our staff members made a mistake. They did something that they were not supposed to do. They did something that they're not trained to do," ACS spokeswoman Lisa Norwood said. "Anytime you're talking about animals, it ignites a passion, and we get that."
Hundreds of people posted angry messages to Facebook in response to the photo. Many reached out to ACS and KSAT 12 News in response to the issue.
Shannon Sims, the agency's assistant director, said last week that ACS is launching a thorough investigation into what happened. Sims said once it is complete, a decision would be made about the officer's future. Until then, the unnamed officer would remain on administrative duty.
On Wednesday, Norwood wasn't able to offer any updates on the officer's status, saying it was a personnel issue. She said ACS is dedicated to offering proper care to all animals, including Jake.
"Jake spent a few days in our clinic while we addressed some of the issues that he had," Norwood said. "He didn't have any injuries, but he did have quite a few parasites, lots of fleas, lots of worms."
The dog is being housed in another part of the property in a cage with some female companionship, Norwood said.
"He's getting to be a pet. He's getting to be a dog again. And I think that with some more socialization and some companionship, he's going to make a great dog," she said.
Ten agencies that partner with ACS for animal adoptions have expressed interest in helping Jake find a home, Norwood said.
Norwood said she sees a "rosy future" for Jake, who had a somewhat rocky past.
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