A starved dog who captured the hearts of everyone he met was humanely euthanized to end his suffering on Friday afternoon. The beagle and terrier mix named Duke was found September 26th in Hamilton, Ohio. When discovered, he weighed less than half of what he should have weighed – his ribs and vertebrae protruded from his frail body.
“We are deeply saddened to announce that Duke physically could not fight anymore. His body, no matter how hard he tried, and the amazing staff at West Side Animal Clinic tried was shutting down.We were hopeful in the beginning that he would pull through as we found nothing medically wrong with him, and he actually gained weight, but as reported yesterday he had took a turn for the worse.This morning with West Side Animal Clinic staff and Dog Wardens at his side,Duke was humanely euthanized to end his suffering and to let him be at peace and rest..,” wrote the Butler County dog warden on Facebook.
The dog was found in deplorable condition at a drive-thru business. According to the Journal News, Duke walked right up to employee Jen Richey who called Animal Control for help for the starved dog.
“I started giving him some dog biscuits and Slim Jims, and that gained his trust because he walked right up to me. I emptied my tip jar and filled it with water and put him in the office until the dog warden got here. He was really gentle and was definitely hungry,” Richey said.
The dog’s owners were found and charged. Jessica North, 34, and her fiancé, Christopher Sears, 31, were each charged with felony cruelty to a companion animal. They were also each charged with failure to license the dog. They stated the dog had been ill, and each time they would try to feed him, he “would go throw up and just lay around.” Neither Sears nor North, however took the dog to a veterinarian claiming they had no money for the vet.
“They said that somebody left their basement door open and the dog went down through the basement and just wandered off,” stated Butler County Dog Warden Kurt Merbs.
Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones called the situation one of the worst cases of animal cruelty he has ever seen. Let’s hope Duke finds justice for such egregious neglect and suffering.
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(Photos via Butler County Dog Warden Facebook page)