KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A dog that someone threw off an overpass near Tyson Park last week is recovering well from surgery at the University of Tennessee Veterinary Medical Center and will be transferred to Young-Williams Animal Center Tuesday.
The dog, who has been named Good Sam Dog, will be placed immediately with a foster family as a “medical foster placement” for continued care, according to Young-Williams Animal Center.
"We expect that she will remain in foster placement for 8-10 weeks, and we will evaluate her readiness for adoption further as she progresses in her recovery," Young-Williams Animal Center CEO Janet Testerman said. "It is important to note that there also is a pending legal investigation by Knoxville Police Department involving this dog. For these reasons, the dog currently is not available for adoption."
Young-Williams said Good Sam Dog requires recovery time, not only for her physical injuries but for emotional trauma so the center is limiting her interaction with people.
"We appreciate the interest and outpouring of concern for this puppy, and we join the East Tennessee community in renouncing the unspeakable cruelty this innocent animal had to suffer needlessly," Testerman said. "We take in and care for abused, neglected and rejected animals every day at Young-Williams Animal Center, and while this dog’s story represents some of the worst malice inflicted upon an animal – sadly, Good Sam Dog is not alone."
If you want to help, Testerman asks you to consider donating to the center's Animal Compassion Fund.
"As the open-intake facility and the official animal shelter for Knox County and the City of Knoxville, we turn no animal away regardless of its condition," she said.
To contribute to the Animal Compassion Fund, please call YWAC at 865-215-6664 or donate online here.
According to a KPD report, an officer was parked underneath the Alcoa Highway overpass, just east of Tyson Skate Park, working on paperwork at around 3 a.m. on Jan. 13.
"I heard a deep male voice grunting/cursing and shortly after I heard a loud impact sound with what appeared to be a dog whining a few yards in front of my patrol vehicle," the officer said in the report. "Upon approach, I observed an injured female dog that had been thrown off the Alcoa Hwy overpass."
The KPD incident report said the dog was bleeding from the mouth, had abrasions on its paws and appeared to have a broken back leg.
If anyone has any information about this, they are urged to please call the Crime Hotline at 865-215-7212 or the Animal Control Unit at 865-215-8640.
If convicted, the person responsible could face a relatively new punishment. Since 2016, the TBI has maintained a registry of people convicted of aggravated animal cruelty.