Abandoned puppy skin and bones

By Yvette Yeon - bio | email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - An abandoned puppy found with just skin and bones rescued by Chesterfield County Animal Control. They say irresponsible owners may be to blame and say the down economy may have something to do with it.

They call her "Rusty". She's a lab/hound mix less than a year old. When she was rescued, she weighed just 20 pounds.

"Rusty probably may have been tethered, tied up somewhere and got lose or somebody may have turned her lose, and it's plain to see she hasn't had much care," said Donald Rose, Supervisor at the Chesterfield County Animal Control.

Rusty was picked up on the streets in the 6900 block of Amster Road. An officer picked her up, bathed her, and brought her in. Authorities estimate Rusty's been starving on the streets for at least a week.

"Very obvious, I mean you can look at Rusty you got the ribs, backbone is sticking up, but she is doing so much better today than yesterday," said Rose.

Rusty is expected to make a full recovery. But not all dogs are lucky.

"Some of them are lucky but if they stay out there long enough they'll end up getting hit by a car, get a disease, eventually something will happen to them," said Rose.

There are many other reasons why dogs end up strays.

"Of course you have your accidents where dogs slip away from their owners, they may get out of the fenced in yard or whatever," said Rose.

But authorities say they are weighing the possibility of owners simply abandoning their dogs by turning them loose.

"We see quite a bit of it, it's probably more out there than we want to see," said Rose, "If people are having a hard time during these days of economic crisis, we're here, we're here to help them if we can."

Rusty is taking medication and doctors are trying to put some weight on her. She should be ready for adoption in about a week and a half. It's just $40 to take her home.

There are 172 animals waiting for a good family at the Chesterfield County Animal Shelter.

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