SC couple saves dog tied to train tracks and left to die

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ENOREE, S.C. (WSPA) — Spartanburg County Animal Control is working to find the person responsible after a couple said they found a dog tied to train tracks behind their home over the weekend.

On Saturday, Dan Winkelman said he was walking down his driveway when he heard a dog barking.

“But this dog, it sounded like you know when a dog frantically barks?” he explained. “And it was. I heard it, and it was coming from an area where there isn’t a house. Where it’s just woods.”

Winkelman said he walked to the tracks to investigate.

“When I looked down to the right, I saw a dog just sitting in the middle of the railroad tracks and no people around,” he said.

Winkelman said after getting closer, he noticed the dog wasn’t stuck, but rather trapped. He said someone had tied his leash to the tracks and left him there to die.

Photo courtesy of Jennifer Winkelman

“There’s no mistaking it. The dog did not just get it wound up there,” Winkelman said. “Those were human-tied knots. And I tried to untie it, but they were pulled so tight that I couldn’t get them undone.”

He later told his wife, Jennifer, about the incident.

“After he came back and told me that this poor dog was tied to the tracks, of course, immediately I was irate,” she said. “I wished we could find the person right then.”

The Winkelmans own four dogs, so keeping the one they found wasn’t an option.

Jennifer Winkelman said she tried repeatedly to surrender the dog to local animal care spots but kept coming up short. She then turned to Facebook for help and was eventually successful.

However, Jennifer Winkelman said she’s now fearful of her surroundings and the thought of whoever could’ve done something like this.

“If they felt comfortable enough about leaving this animal to die, what is their mindset?” Jennifer Winkelman asked. “And then we’re irate because we wished we had seen someone walking down that way, but we didn’t. But we would’ve loved to have found this person and just at least call the cops on them. That was horrible what they did.”

Photo courtesy of Jennifer Winkelman

Spartanburg Animal Control want the public’s help to find the person responsible.

“Enoree is a nice small community, and folks know folks,” said Jamie Nelson, director of Environmental Enforcement for Spartanburg County. “So they probably got a good idea of whose dog that belonged to.”

Nelson said Animal Control will continue to investigate the matter.

“As well as looking back through some of our past calls and see if we can find something that matches up with the K-9 itself,” Nelson said. “Any kind of neighbors or dog running loose or complaints in that general location.”

As of Monday, the dog the Winkelmans found is with Operation Care in York, South Carolina, where he will be microchipped and vetted before he gets put up for adoption.

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