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Humane society pursuing animal cruelty charges in case involving neglected dog

By Alexandra Mester • May 17, 2018 at 1:00 PM

The Toledo Area Humane Society is pursuing animal cruelty charges in a new case involving a neglected dog.

Major, a 2 1/2-year-old mixed breed, is emaciated. He weighs 36 pounds when he should be about 50 pounds, and pressure sores dot his bony frame.

“His ears are filthy and his teeth are really bad, much worse than they should be for his age,” said Stephen Heaven, president and chief executive of the humane society.

Andrew Leslie of Perrysburg Township had rehomed Major with a South Toledo woman about 1 1/2 years ago. On Sunday, he went to get the dog back and was shocked and infuriated by his condition.

“He is not the same dog I had before,” Leslie said. “He’s broken.”

Leslie’s girlfriend, Autumn Harvey, had adopted Major for her boyfriend in 2016. The couple had him for about eight months when they decided their work schedules and other factors weren’t allowing them to give Major the life he deserved. They rehomed him with a woman Ms. Harvey knew through her work.

“We scoped it out to see if there was anything we didn’t like,” Ms. Harvey said. “The house was in decent condition and their dogs were perfectly fine.”

Ms. Harvey said neither she nor Leslie received updates on Major despite their requests. Finally reuniting with him only to find the dog in such poor condition was painful.

“It hurt me, seeing him that way,” she said. “It had me in tears.”

Mr. Heaven said the organization is continuing to investigate with the intent of filing charges against two suspects. A cruelty examination by the shelter veterinarian Monday did not show any apparent medical conditions that could explain Major’s emaciation.

“There doesn’t appear to be any underlying issues that would cause this degree of malnourishment,” he said. “From what we know, the dog was crated for long periods of time. So for all intents and purposes, it seems like severe neglect.”

Meanwhile, Major is back with Leslie and beginning to recover.

“I’m hating myself for letting this happen to him,” he said. “I just want justice.”

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©2018 The Blade (Toledo, Ohio)

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