GRAHAM (KFDX/KJTL) — The people of Young County are raising their voices after the passing of a surrendered dog named Niko that was abused and neglected.

“He was a great dog and he deserved so much better.”

People gathered outside the Humane Society of Young County to remember Niko, who was surrendered to them on March 16 due to the abuse and neglect.

“I was first notified of his situation in 2021, January of 2021 and we finally got him out here and we really thought he would he was going to be okay,” Director of Humane Society of Young County Shelby Brogdon said.

But after a week in the care of the humane society, Niko went into emergency surgery only to find things were too severe to fix.

“We were all pretty devastated when we lost him,” Brogdon said.

After Niko’s passing on March 23, Jeffery Logan and Zackery Anderson turned themselves in at the Young County Jail in connection to the neglect of Niko.

“Getting them to go in and press those charges is what’s important. We want to work together with them in the future and not let this happen again,” Brogdon said.

At the rally, Brogdon and Heather Allen led discussions on what more they can do and advocate within the county to stop the abuse. Brogdon said the community response on Facebook and those that showed up shows they won’t stand for animal abuse.

“Our community really stepped up in help getting the charges brought on Niko’s owners. The fact that some of it has been elevated to a felony now, we’re very happy with that. I feel like it’s the community that really stepped up and encouraged that to happen,” Brogdon said.

As they fight for Niko and other animals to avoid abuse and neglect.

Brogdon said they hope to have another rally soon this time in town.

A fund in Niko’s name is also set up. Money raised will go toward pets taken in that have been abused and neglected. Click here to donate. If you donate by PayPal or Venmo, the humane society asks you include in the note that the money is going toward Niko’s fund.