Owner of starving dog convicted of animal cruelty
A 24-year-old Oak Trail Shores man was sentenced to 90 days in jail and fined $2,000 after being found guilty of animal cruelty in a case of a starving dog infested with parasites, Animal Control Sergeant Kelly McNab said.
The 2-year-old male pit bull mix was found last July weighing only 34.4 pounds, McNab said. The veterinarian who treated the dog said it should have weighed between 55 and 65 pounds.
He was infested with hookworms, tapeworms and whipworms, along with fleas, McNab said.
“The dog was found starving on a chain,” McNab said. “He could barely sit up. For him to be as malnourished as he was, it would have taken months for him to get in that (condition).”
The legal action came Monday in Judge Vincent Messina’s County Court at Law.
Animal Control received a tip about the dog’s condition on July 11, and obtained a warrant for a Class A misdemeanor count of cruelty to a nonlivestock animal. After two convictions, subsequent offenses can result in a felony charge, according to officials.
“(The owner) said that he thought somebody poisoned the dog because he saw film on the water in the dish, but when I arrived there was no water,” McNab stated. “(The dog’s) blood work showed there was no poison. The dog’s chain measured 51 inches, and it should have measured (at least) 170 inches (five times the length of the dog’s body), by law.”
McNab said that a Chihuahua, which lived in the home, was also seized. It was suffering from skin issues and infested with fleas. Both dogs have found new homes through a dog rescue group from outside the county, McNab noted.
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