Cape Coral woman arrested for inflicting serious injuries on starved and abused dog abandoned on street

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Two people have been arrested and are facing multiple charges of torturing and inflicting serious injuries to a dog discovered wandering the streets in Lehigh Acres, Florida on August 11, 2021.

Ashley Howard had been caring for a brown Catahoula leopard dog, named Khaleesi for five months, before allegedly abandoning her on a street according to deputies from the Lee County Sheriff’s Office. When authorities arrived at Howard’s home, two other dogs were in poor health – a third dog was fine and appeared healthy.

The healthy dog belonged to Charles Koons, who was also arrested and charged with animal cruelty. Authorities allege Koons knew about the two starving dogs in the home and also had knowledge that Khaleesi had been abandoned.

According to Michelle Holsinger from Mutty Paws Rescue, who stepped up to rescue Khaleesi after a Good Samaritan found her on the side of the road lying in the grass. The dog could not move and was nothing but skin and bones. Khalessi weighed just 19.5 pounds when rescued – a breed who should typically weigh 40 to 60 pounds.

And when she was first rescued, her prognosis seemed bleak:

 “She had absolutely no food in her stomach, not even scraps from the side of the road. She was infested with parasites. She was hookworm positive on her fecal. And our vet team believes she was confined. Someone must have dumped her. Her nails were extremely long and very sharp. So if she was walking the streets, they would have been filed down or shown wear and tear of just normal walking. Normally a dog in her condition would have shown some weight gain, and she hasn’t shown any at this point. So she’s fighting for her life. She’s not giving up.”

Michelle Holsinger

By the dog’s third day in the Intensive Care Unit of the veterinary hospital, some improvement could be seen, although she did have some setbacks requiring transfusions and more specialized care.

Almost two weeks later, Khaleesi has been released from the hospital and is in the care of her foster home. Just to bring a smile to everyone following this amazing pooch, here is her latest update.

“… She is doing great. We finally got the digestive panel back and able to rule out exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI). She is proving to us she just needed the time to recover and we are happy we trusted out gut and never gave up on her, slow and steady but the progress is showing day by day. Today she weighed in a 23.8 lbs. Huge shoutout to her amazing foster family for providing her with feedings every hour, making sure she’s always tucked in and warm, keeping her stuffed animals close by, and having the best foster brother ever to keep her company.”

Mutty Paws Facebook

Updates to follow.

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