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Owner abandons lovable pit bull in Oak Harbor

Island County Animal Control Officer Carol Barnes gets some affection from Tessa, a pit bull that may have been abandoned near Oak Harbor. She is looking for information about the dog’s owner.  - Jessie Stensland/Whidbey News-Times
Island County Animal Control Officer Carol Barnes gets some affection from Tessa, a pit bull that may have been abandoned near Oak Harbor. She is looking for information about the dog’s owner.
— image credit: Jessie Stensland/Whidbey News-Times

Island County’s animal control officer is looking for information about a female pit bull that was apparently abandoned near Oak Harbor earlier this month.

Carol Barnes, the county’s longtime animal control contractor, said the petite, friendly dog showed up in the area of Golf Course Road on March 3. She said it was a classic case of abandonment. The anxious pooch would run from car to car, peering inside each.

“It was really sad to see,” Barnes said. “It looked like she was looking for her master.”

Barnes said the residents in the area were concerned about the dog’s welfare and came together to help her. They set up feeding stations and places for shelter, but the doggy was too scared to let anyone close.

“It was really awesome,” Barnes said. “Everyone cared about the dog and no one felt threatened just because she is a pit bull.”

But finally on Sunday, a woman in the neighborhood was able to gain the dog’s trust and brought her to the WAIF animal shelter.

Barnes said it looks like the beautiful, brindle pit bull was probably pushed out of a car on the road. The dog had recently given birth for what was probably the second or third time.

“It looks like they took the puppies and dumped her,” the animal control officer said.

At the shelter, the staff named the dog Tessa. They found her to be a sweet, sociable dog that has had some obedience training.

According to Barnes, abandoning a dog is a misdemeanor crime punishable with up to 90 days in jail, a $1,000 fine, or both. She said that there’s never a reason to abandon a pet. WAIF has programs to help people who can’t afford to surrender an animal.

“They would never turn an animal away that’s in need,” she said.

Anyone who recognizes the dog or has information about her should call animal control at 679-7398. And remember, she reminded, to buy a license for your canine friend.

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