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Posted: August 12, 2014 10:00 p.m.

Local students, teachers rescue abandoned dogs

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Eleana after

Teachers and students at Newton College and Career Academy (NCCA) joined forces last week to rescue three abandoned dogs who were found wandering the area of the school entrance, and school personnel were fearful they were in danger of being hit by a vehicle.

Marcus Pollard, an agriculture teacher, Kayleigh Plummer, a University of Georgia student teacher, and Heather Pollard, a fashion design teacher, retrieved the dogs and immediately took them to Beth Galloway’s classroom, a veterinary science teacher at NCCA. Students helped to wash the animals, and Ashley Vilmenoy, Newton High School’s FFA vice president, used her dog grooming skills to clip them. Vilmenoy has a dog grooming business that is also her FFA Supervised Agriculture Experience.

Because the dogs needed further treatment, they were sent to professional veterinary care facilities. Two of the dogs went to a clinic in Monroe, where, unfortunately, the veterinarian determined they were too far gone to save.

“I told the students that they should be happy that the dogs were shown love and care at the end of their lives,” Galloway said, “because it was apparent that they had been badly mistreated.”

The third dog was taken to Oak Hill Animal Hospital in Covington, where she was treated for a hernia, parasites and hook worms. She also had one paw amputated because it had lost all circulation due to matted fur. The 2- or 3-year-old shih tzu, now named Eleana, was also spayed at the hospital.

Eleana’s story had a happy ending. Alcovy High School parent Michelle McGowan stepped forward to not only pay for Eleana’s expenses but also find a rescue group to help rehabilitate the dog. Eleana is now in the hands of Mutts and More, organized by Lori Todd.

“I’m very proud of the teachers and students who saw three dogs in need and immediately stepped forward to help,” said NCCA principal James Woodard. “Although two of the dogs did not survive, they were shown love and affection at the end of their lives. The third dog now has a new chance at a happy life, and that was all possible to our teachers and students. That’s not a bad way to start the school year.”

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