Irmo doctor abandons newly adopted dog during vacation in Florida

Published: Jan. 3, 2015 at 4:02 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 29, 2015 at 1:28 PM EST
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FLAGLER BEACH, FL (WIS) - Several photos are getting hundreds of shares on Facebook.

The photos show an abandoned German Shepherd tied to a Florida telephone pole.

Janelle Marcello is the woman who snapped the photo.

"My neighbor, who feeds the cats at the monastery, called me and said there was a golden dog tied to the telephone pole at the monastery, so I immediately got in my car and went over to rescue him," Marcello said.

Marcello soon found out that the dog, Roman, was adopted at Pawmetto Lifeline in Columbia on Christmas Eve and abandoned just four days later in Flagler Beach, Florida.

On Facebook, Marcello put the dog's 4-day owner on blast, Irmo doctor William Odom.

"I put it on Facebook not to bash him personally but to bash a person that would do this to a dog," said Marcello.

Taylor Wilson with Pawmetto Lifeline is also shocked and says her agency is still getting all the facts together.

"We're very saddened to hear what happened to Roman," said Wilson. "We know that while he was here, he was receiving compassionate care, which is something that Palmetto Lifeline believes all animals should have access to."

Wilson says

"This is a very serious investigation for our agency."

Meanwhile, the dog's former owner, Dr. Odom, is speaking out too.

In a five-page letter forwarded to WIS, the doctor says the dog was a nightmare and had to be brought on a vacation to Florida, since Roman had Kennel Cough, which means he can't be boarded.

Dr. Odom says on the vacation to Florida the German Shepherd showed aggressive behavior, was uncontrollable on walks, bit the Irmo doctor twice, and snapped at his toddler.

Odom says he had to protect his family.

He says he considered shooting the dog, but tied him up instead.

Odom believes the aggressive dog would have been euthanized if he dropped him off at a shelter.

Marcello isn't buying it, "I was flabbergasted. I'm reading this letter, and I'm like, 'Is he talking about the same dog?'"

Pawmetto Lifeline says it has no record of aggression either.

"He's wonderful. He's wonderful. He plays and is not aggressive whatsoever," said Marcello.

Dr. Odom says he's since repeatedly offered to bring the dog back to Columbia.

He says he's also shipped the dog's heart worm medicine to Florida.

Meanwhile, Pawmetto Lifeline and Marcello say Roman is doing well and has already gotten a lot of adoption interest from people across the Southeast.

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