When abuse or neglect of an animal is suspected, the Humane Rescue Alliance’s Humane Law Enforcement (HLE) officers will not rest until they thoroughly investigate a case and ensure the long-term safety of the animal in question. Such was the case with Dutchess.
A young exuberant puppy with nothing but love to give, Dutchess was discovered in a home in DC during a check of the dog’s welfare and condition. When HRA HLE Sgt. Dan D’Eramo arrived at the residence of Dutchess’s owner, two things were obvious: Dutchess could not be a sweeter and friendlier puppy.
And she had been severely neglected.
As the six month-old limped across the floor to greet him, D’Eramo realized the dog could barely use one of her legs. After an interview with Dutchess’s owner, he stated that Dutchess had recently fallen down a flight of stairs, which was suspected of causing the injury. D’Eramo advised the owner that Dutchess needed immediate veterinary attention and suggested low cost veterinary alternatives for the puppy’s care.
Over the course of several days, D’Eramo attempted to follow up with the owner, but unreturned phone calls and misinformation led to further action. HLE seized Dutchess through a court order and transported her to Dogs and Cats Veterinary Referral and Emergency (DCVR), where she was diagnosed with a fractured hip that had been neglected, to the extent that bone regrowth was occurring and severe muscle atrophy was apparent. The puppy was also suffering from untreated ear infections in both ears and mange.
HRA and DCVR proceeded with surgery to repair the hip, removing the femoral head that leads to the hip socket, because in the doctors’ opinions, there was little hope of the break healing properly due to the elapsed time since the fracture. The surgery was successful, and Dutchess is now recovering in HRA’s care as the case proceeds.
On Wednesday, December 20, an arrest warrant was issued for Dutchess’s owner and he was subsequently arrested on Friday, December 22 by MPD’s City-wide Apprehension Unit (CAU) and charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty. Dutchess, who quickly captured the hearts of our staff, is resting comfortably with the potential for a happy life ahead. If not for the diligent work of our HLE officers, our partners at DCVR, and HRA animal care staff, Dutchess’s future might not be so bright.
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