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By Chris Wright WDRB-TV Fox 41 News email@example.com
LOUISVILLE, KY (WDRB Fox 41) – A dog owner is furious after his pet was mauled to death while in the custody of Metro Animal Services. He's accused of animal cruelty, but he says the dog should never have been taken from him in the first place. The owner had his dog for eleven years, but after being taken by M.A.S, she was dead in less than 24 hours.
"I tried to keep them from taking her, but it still didn't save her life," said Thomas Guelda.
Guelda says Angel, his eleven-year-old lab boxer mix, was the love of his life. But on Monday, someone called animal control and complained that Angel was abused and malnourished.
When authorities visited Guelda's home, they agreed that the dog's ribs 'were clearly visible'. They decided to take her and Guelda's other dog, a ten-year-old lab, into custody.
"She jumped up on me. She had both her arms on my shoulder. both of the others around my leg, and was holding on for dear life. Like please don't let them take me. That's when I got upset, and started fighting to keep the dog," said Guelda.
He was arrested and charged with animal cruelty. Angel was placed in an M.A.S. kennel. On the other side was a pit bull with a history of violence. M.A.S. says the pit somehow managed to get under the divider and attack Angel.
"I've been here seven years and this has never happened, so it's very rare, very rare," said agency spokesperson Jackie Gulbe .
Guelda was released from jail late Monday. In addition to his legal troubles, he was then told he had lost his best friend.
"Now she just gets mauled to death for no reason. If they had just left her here, she would have been fine," said Guelda. I'd still have my dog. I wouldn't have to explain it to my kids today"
M.A.S. returned his other dog, but Guelda says he's heart-broken, and the guilt over losing Angel is overwhelming.
"She's probably thinking I did it to her, and I didn't. I fought for her. I went to jail for her yesterday. I knew something was going to happen to her. I just felt it in my heart."
The charges against Guelda have not been dropped. He says Angel developed health problems after a pregnancy years ago, and has always been skinny. M.A.S. says the pit bull has not been put down because it's being held in connection with a pending court case.