Whenever you adopt a dog you take on of the responsibility that entails, or at least you should. This includes making sure they are fed, get plenty of exercise, and are shown the love that they need so much. But, unfortunately, that is not always the case. Some owners either don’t realize how much responsibility owning a pet actually is or they don’t really care about their pet.
Here is one story about a dog in Florida, named Richter that ended up with one such owner. Luckily, for Richter, the local humane society stepped in and made sure that he found the loving owner he deserved.
Neglected by His Owner
Alexandra Drew adopted Richter in 2016. Six months later, Drew brought him back into the Humane Society of Sarasota County from where she had adopted him. She claimed that he was a stray she had found and wanted to turn him in. Extremely emaciated, it was clear that the dog had not been fed in quite some time.
The Humane Society found that the dog had a chip and upon scanning it discovered that Drew was actually the one who had originally adopted Richter. She had lied to the shelter to avoid paying the $30 return fee. When asked why she had neglected to feed Richter, Drew’s excuse was that she was “too busy with work” to feed him.
According to Lieutenant Daniel Tutko, who handled the case, “[Richter] was very thin. You could see the outline of the rib cage, you could see the bones protruding from its back. It was in bad shape. She continued to try and put blame on someone else, as to why the dog was in the shape that it was.”
An Arrest is Made
Drew was arrested and charged with animal cruelty. Richter was taken in by the Humane Society and nursed back to health by their vets. Once healthy, Richter was put up for adoption and quickly found himself adopted. And while he suffered greatly at the hands of Drew he did end up in a loving home where he deserved to be.
Signs of Animal Abuse or Neglect
The first step in protecting neglected and abused animals is to recognize the signs of abuse. Some of the physical signs of animal abuse and neglect include:
- Open wounds or multiple signs of healed wounds
- Skin conditions that cause hair loss, rashes, or scaly skin
- An infestation of fleas or ticks
- Matted fur, overgrown nails, or a dirty coat
- Limping or other signs of trouble walking
You can also look for signs in the environment of abuse or neglect, such as the animal being tied up alone outside for an extended period; feces, garbage, or other objects littering their environment; and animals housed in overcrowded kennels or cages.
What to Do if You Notice Animal Abuse or Neglect
If you notice signs of animal abuse or neglect you should gather specific information before reporting the animal cruelty:
- Write down what you observed including the dates and times of the abuse or neglect
- Photographs of the location and the animal if possible. Remember not to break any laws when doing so and don’t put yourself in danger.
- The names and contact information of anyone else who has witnessed the activity or who may have firsthand knowledge of the animal abuse.
- Keep in mind that you can file your report anonymously.
Fortunately for Richter, he was brought to the attention of the Humane Society and able to be saved. And while Richter’s story had a happy ending, there are still animals out there now suffering from abuse and/or neglect. If you suspect this is happening, contact your local Humane Society. Here is a video of Richter’s harrowing story and how he found a forever home.
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