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Malnourished pit bulls nursed back to health at Save-a-Pet

By Beth Kramer, Lake County News Sun

904 days ago   Article ID# 1518731
Original URL

 

Save-a-Pet

GURNEE, ILLINOIS (Lake County News Sun) - Herman and Bisquick had open wounds, several scars and had visibly protruding ribs when Save-a-Pet humane investigator Nikki Nedza found them.

Nedza, who also is the operations manager at the no-kill shelter in Grayslake, responded to an anonymous tip on March 15 of neglected and possibly abused pit bulls at a Fox Lake residence.

“I’ve been a humane investigator for three and a half years. This was the worst case I’ve ever been on,” Nedza said.

Bisquick, a 3-year-old, weighed about 44 pounds and had an infected bite wound on its neck when investigators came to the residence. A healthy pit bull Bisquick’s age should weigh about 60 pounds, Nedza said.

A one-year-old pit bull like Herman should weigh about 50 pounds. He was exactly 40 pounds on March 15. Nedza described both dogs as “emaciated.”

Their owner, whose identity was not released, told her that he could not afford to feed them. He also claimed that the dogs fought each other.

A pit bull should go through a 20-pound bag of dog food in about a week and a half. These bags average $14 to $20 each, Nedza estimated.

“My thought process is, ‘If you ever need help feeding your pets, there are tons of programs out there,’ ” Nedza said. Animal Education and Rescue runs a pet-food pantry in Grayslake called Central Bark.

The owner agreed to relinquish the two pit bulls to Save-a-Pet. He owned three dogs, but the third was healthy, Nedza said.

Since their rescue, Bisquick and Herman have been gaining weight and now have clean bills of health. Both respond to love and are friendly.

Nedza said she couldn’t say whether or not the animals were outright abused. The owner denied fighting them. Because the dogs respond well to humans, Nedza said she didn’t think they had been abused.

“He was definitely neglecting them,” Nedza said. “I’ll never know the truth.”

Bisquick and Herman are “coming out of their shells” and recovering from their ordeal. They are available for adoption.

Nedza has contacted Fox Lake Police about the owner. Save-a-Pet has the authority to impound dogs and cats, but not to file criminal charges.

The shelter averages two to three calls of suspected abuse or neglect a week. At least one call per week is a legitimate call, she said.

Save-a-Pet has three staff humane investigators and six volunteer investigators.

The shelter has 165 cats and 72 dogs and still has room for more, Nedza said.

“This case (of Biscuit and Herman) is an excellent example of Save-a-Pet humane investigators working to rescue animals in need from desperate situations,” said Save-a-Pet Board president Tyler Reid. “Once at Save-a-Pet, animals have the opportunity to love and be loved again, properly fed and medically cared for until we are able to place them in a safe and loving home.”

Copyright 2014 Lake County News Sun   (Copyright Terms)
Updated 904 days ago   Article ID# 1518731

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