Woman Adopts A Dog In Need Only To Discover It Was Abused

USATODAY_AnimalkindPublished: December 18, 2017198,639 views
Published: December 18, 2017

Rocco’s former owner was sentenced to jail-time for animal cruelty. Thanks to new mom Kelly, Rocco is so, so, so happy in his new life that his doggy smile lights up a room.

On November 24, Kelly Benzel of Fond du Lac found the white Pit Bull mix on sale on Facebook by a woman named Amanda Muellenbach, and purchased it as a Christmas present for her family. On her way home, Benzel noticed a putrid smell coming from the dog. Rocco was wearing a black harness which was hiding an infected gash, six inches long and 1.5 inches deep on his neck. She then drove to Appleton that night, where a veterinarian bandaged the dog and put it on pain medications and antibiotics.

When Kelly got home, she made a call to the Fond du Lac police department, despite the promises from the dog’s seller that the previous owners will pay for the veterinary bills if she didn’t call the police.

Rocco’s previous owners, Amy Shaw, 42, and Daniel Eisenach, 51 told officers they were “unaware of the dogs injury”. They also haven’t removed the harness from Rocco “ for the several months they owned him because they could not catch him in the backyard.”

The veterinarian who took care of Rocco at the Fox Valley Animal Referral Center told police the owner of the dog must have placed the harness on Rocco when he young and the dog's growth made it become embedded. It is uncommon for owners to leave harnesses on dogs without taking them off for a period of time, the vet's report said.

Both Shaw and Eisenach made their initial appearance on the morning of March 7 in Fond du Lac County Court. The Fond du Lac District Attorney's Office charged them both with mistreatment of animals/causing death, with Eisenach acting as a party to the crime. Judge Dale English gave each of them a $1,500 signature bond. Muellenbach was charged with hiding or aiding a felon. She was also given a $1,500 signature bond.

The charge of mistreatment of animals/causing death carries a maximum sentence of three and a half years in prison.

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