COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The Irmo doctor receiving loads of flack online for leaving a dog tied to a telephone pole in Florida is receiving death threats for his actions.
Roman, the 1-year-old German Shepherd, is doing well and still enjoying the Florida sunshine.
It was just a few days ago when the dog was discovered tied to the pole. The Good Samaritan who rescued Roman soon found out that he was adopted at Pawmetto Lifelife in Columbia on Christmas Eve and left in Flagler beach just four days ago by Dr. William Odom.
Since leaving the dog in Flagler Beach, Dr. Odom has caught a lot of flak. The Irmo doctor says he's even received 10 to 15 death threats on his office phone, but he can't say much more at the advice of his team of attorneys.
Dr. Odom did, however, refer back to his five page letter where he says the dog was a nightmare and had to be brought on a vacation to Florida since the German Shepherd could not be boarded. He also says the dog was aggressive, bit the Irmo doctor twice, and snapped at his toddler during the vacation. He says he had to protect his family and tied the dog to the pole instead of killing it. Dr. Odom says he didn't want to take it to a shelter in Florida since the dog might have been euthanized. He also says he was up all night, it was foggy outside, and it was a strange place, which is why he tied Roman up instead of finding a shelter.
In the letter, Dr. Odom also places some blame on Pawmetto Lifeline. He says the shelter essentially forced the dog on his family. He says Roman had kennel cough and heartworm at the time of the adoption. He says the dog was adopted to a family with a toddler with little screening.
"This adoption was just like any other," Taylor Wilson of Pawmetto Lifeline said. "We released an animal to a family that had filled out an application. They had gone through the process. We had been able to provide resources on that application that we were able to check. This was just like every other day."
Wilson said adoptions are never forced at Pawmetto Lifeline. She can't say much specifically since the incident is being investigated, but Wilson says the shelter would have held Roman through the Florida vacation since that was the original agreement.
She also says the shelter only releases dogs with heartworm and kennel cough when they're otherwise healthy, which she says was the case. Wilson also noted there was no record that the dog was aggressive.
Meanwhile, Pawmetto Lifeline is still looking for a forever home for Roman. If you're interested, they encourage you to go their website and fill out an application.
Officials at Pawmetto Lifeline are not sure if he'll be kept down in Florida or brought back to South Carolina. Dr. Odom says he's since offered to drive back to Florida to bring the dog back if necessary.