UPDATE: Many call shelter after report on starving dog - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

UPDATE: Many call shelter after report on starving dog

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MERRILL (WAOW) -

UPDATE:  July 25, 2012 Workers at the Lincoln County Humane Society have taken many calls from people asking about the starving dog that is now under their care. The dog is in a foster home until she recovers. "Precious" was taken to the shelter after she was found starving. Police say the owner told them financial hardship resulted in the failure to feed the dog. Police plan to turn a report with possible charging recommendations to the Lincoln County District Attorney. If you are interested in adopting "Precious" call the shelter at 715-536-3459.

JULY 23, 2012: The Merrill Police Department followed up on a stray dog that was taken to the Lincoln County Humane Society. This follows Newsline 9's report last week on the starving dog that was turned in to volunteers.

"The media attention actually brought it to our attention," Captain Corey Bennett with the Merrill Police Department said.

Police say they made contact with the dog's owner and found out the family had owned the dog since January 2012 and called the dog "Precious."

The owner told police financial hardship was the primary reason for the improper care and the reason for turning the dog over to the humane society.

"Our humane society does not charge to turn over animals so, it's completely no excuse," Bennett said.

According to the Merrill Police Department, the owner told an officer that she only had money to feed the dog three days a week, but the dog was provided water daily.

Humane society officials say the dog is doing better and they are happy police followed up.

"I'm very happy for her she's a sweet dog and definitely deserves every opportunity and I'm very proud of the Merrill Police Department for taking this seriously," Manager Liz Friedenfels said.

She encourages everyone to report animal abuse. "People have to speak out about abuse and neglect because the animal has no way to report the crime, they have no way to say they're suffering."

Police say when a report is finalized, the incident will be referred to the Lincoln County District Attorney's office for the appropriate charges.


JULY 19, 2012: It's been four days since four year old Trea was found starving and alone on the side of the road in Merrill.

"Every bone in her body was sticking out," Lincoln County Humane Society shelter manager Liz Friedenfels said.

These photos were taken by the Lincoln County Humane Society just hours after the pit bull mix was brought in. It was a sight volunteers say was devastating.

"She is estimated to be about 15 lbs underweight," Friedenfels said. "That might not seem like a lot but when you are only 30-40 lbs that it half of her body weight she's missing."

Since Monday Trea has been making progress by eating, drinking and playing.

"Amazingly she is doing pretty well," Friedenfels said.

But, her road to recovery is far from over.

"You have to be very careful when an animal is that emaciated," Friedenfels explained. "You can't give them anything they are hungry for because it could cause illness."

Trea is just one of dozens of animals brought to the Humane Society every month. And few people are ever held accountable.

"We have our fair share," Capt Cory Bennett from the Merrill Police Department said. "But, hardly anyone ever gets arrested."

Every animal brought in to the humane society brings a cost with it. That's why the humane society is asking for donations. When Trea was brought in they had no choice but to ask for help, and dozens responded.

"We rely so heavily on everyone to help us out," Friedenfels said.

And the support they get keeps them afloat, giving dogs like Trea a second chance.

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