MIAMI COUNTY, Kan. - Thursday morning started out normal enough for Ashley Ralston and her two young sons in Paola, Kan. But on their way to school and daycare, they noticed a stray dog walking alongside Old Kansas City Road south of Spring Hill.
"I wasn't going to leave him out in the cold," Ralston said. "He doesn't have any fat to keep him warm."
The dog, Mac, was so thin his ribs stuck out.
Ralston said she pulled over, and Mac jumped in her car. But then she noticed a second dog lying on the side of the road. He had been hit by a car and was badly hurt.
A Miami County officer soon arrived to take a look.
"He was still alive and (the officer) advised me to get my son because he was going to put him down," Ralston said.
She said the officer shot the dog, and then made it clear he wasn't going to help Mac.
Ralston said she's still not sure putting down the injured dog was the right decision, even though it was clearly suffering. However, Ralston firmly believes the officer's lack of action for Mac was troubling.
"I kind of felt like it was in my hands because obviously I'm not leaving them, and he wasn't going to take him with him," Ralston said.
Miami County Administrative Sgt. Mike Talcott told 41 Action News the department does not have a policy for transporting stray animals, in part because animals are not required to be on a leash in rural areas of the county.
Talcott also said the officer involved in the incident tried his best to locate Mac's owner by using information from his collar.
For now, Mac is staying at Kerry's Kennels near Spring Hill, where they are fattening him up and giving him vaccinations.
Anyone looking to help Mac can contact Kerry Gast from Kerry's Kennels at 913-592-3900.