Animal lovers livid after dog dies in Bonham Animal Shelter

BONHAM, Texas (KXII) -- A 3 year old English bulldog died on Friday, and its death has created a firestorm on social media.

Dozens of protesters gathered at the Bonham Animal Shelter Sunday morning, demanding justice for a four-legged friend.

"I'm livid, I'm absolutely livid," said local Gretchen Garrity.

"It was very disturbing, I just had to get involved and come out here," said Diane Macquiod, who traveled an hour and a half to show support from Heath, Texas.

The dog at the center of it all - a three-year-old English Bulldog that died on Friday, from what protestors said was heat exhaustion.

It all started when the animal shelter posted a photo on Facebook of Addie earlier in the week. She got immediate attention from locals, including Deborah Wenger, who says she tried to adopt her right before she died.

"She didn't lift her head or respond in any way, she was panting very heavily, this dog was hot." Wenger said.

But she wasn't allowed, due to city policy.

Bonham Police Chief Mike Bankston said there is a 72 hour hold to allow owners to come back if they reconsider their decision after dropping their animal off.

"I just don't think there was any abuse and there certain wasn't any intent or any neglect," Bankson said.

Bankston said Addie was already set to be adopted by a bulldog rescue, which would have picked her up after the 72 hour hold.

But before the rescue could come get her, she died.

The police chief tells us she was outside for 45 minutes while the area inside was being cleaned.

News12 meteorologist Tom Hale sa dthe heat index was around 90 degrees at the time.

"What happened to the dog?" asked Debra Thomas, who organized the protest after becoming outraged hearing the story on social media.

Experts say English Bulldogs are very sensitive to the heat.

"They need special care, when they pant they don't cool down they overheat," Macquiod said. She has been working with English Bulldogs for years.

Bankston said he thought the dog might have already been sick when she was brought in, which may have caused her death.

How exactly she died may remain a mystery. But it is clear the community will not be silent. Even Fannin County Sheriff Mark Johnson came to show support for Addie Sunday morning. He has adopted 12 dogs from the Bonham shelter alone.

"I just want to come here today to show support," Johnson said. "Me and my wife are big animal lovers, we have 24 dogs of our own."

Anyone who wants to learn more about Addie is welcome to join the Justice for Addie Facebook Page.

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