Owner Surrenders Starved Dog to Animal Shelter

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Every day, many pet owners walk into shelters to surrender their dogs with a variety of reasons (some valid, some not), but recently, a woman from Georgia walked into PAWS Atlanta with an emaciated dog she no longer wanted and left rescuers speechless.

As soon as the woman walked in with the skin and bones pet, rescuers’ red flags went off. The pet owner sat down and waited her turn, meanwhile shelter workers called authorities without the woman’s knowledge.


Weighing just 30 pounds and covered in fleas, Spirit as rescuers have named the dog, waited in the lobby for her second chance to live life. Veterinarians examined the dog and even though they know it will be a long an arduous path to recovery, they are hopeful Spirit will once again be 100% healthy.

“We had a lot of work to do. That’s the first thing I thought. We had a lot of work to do,” veterinarian Dr. Ashley Neal told WSBTV.

It will take months for Spirit to be nursed back to health. A dog like her with a house and an owner should never starve, but the reality is there are many irresponsible owners that simply let their dogs starve to death. It doesn’t take much to learn how to care for a dog, and in Spirit’s case, her owners lacked education and resources.

“[We’re] not trying to shame any owners or make people reluctant to bring pets in that are in this condition,” Neal said.

The organization like many others across the nation has programs set in place to help community members care for their pets when times are tough. If pet owners need help, all they need to do is ask.

Authorities have opened an investigation against Spirit’s former owners. For now the dog is under professional care and on her way to recovery. She has gained 3 pounds in the time she’s been under PAWS Atlanta’s care.

For more information about Spirit and how you can help, please contact PAWS Atlanta on their website or by calling 770-593-1155.

663 thoughts on “Owner Surrenders Starved Dog to Animal Shelter”

        • She had plenty of time to turn her dog over well BEFORE she starved that helpless little dog. She knew what she was doing and took great pleasure in doing so. We NEED stiffer penalties against people who abuse animals then people will think twice before do something like this. Turn your animal over to someone who WILL take care of and love the animal. That way, NO ONE gets hurt … not the animal and not the owner. It’s not rocket science.

          • Dogs let you know when they are hungry whoever had this dog was an idiot no excuse !

  1. Yes, I too think the glob of meat that brought the dog in hadn’t missed a meal. I will never understand how someone can do that. If they will do it to an animal, they will do it to a human. These pieces of garbage need to be animal and kid free and put on a desert island somewhere without much to eat.

    • Ill straight up starve my self before I let my beagle and chihauha miss a meal . If its about money . you feed those in your care before you get to eat

      • I’m the same way (with my 4 beagles and a boxer mix). If it ever came to either buying food for myself or for them, I would buy it for them. There is no way I could eat if I couldn’t feed them.

        • I have personally have done exactly this. Times have been really rough in my life but my beloved pet never knew it. She ate when I didn’t, even if it was only peanut butter and bread…she ate something to sustain her. Not everyone loves animals as much as we do, but they don’t realize the long term commitment they made when acquiring the pet. I pray for this gorgeous dog, that better times are ahead!

  2. This makes me SICK. I am seriously in tears right now for this poor dog. I AM SO SICK of people mistreating animals. At this point, some type of LAW needs to be passed to help animals being abused liked this. This woman is probably a big fat slob. I love my dog like shes my baby. If ANYONE EVER mistreated her I would seriously hurt them. This poor dog looks like a skeleton.

  3. So sad, makes me want to cry. Thank you for being here for this dog and finding it a good home. Please keep us posted on the dog’s recovery.

  4. She may have mental illness and can hardly deal with herself much less another being.. She brought the dog in when she could have dumped it or just let it die like some people do. She knew she couldn’t handle dog ownersip and sought help and gave him up. Good for her and the pup. Don’t be so harsh when you don’t know the circumstances.

    • I dont care what her circumstances are. That dog did not get like that over night. It takes a long time for him to be in the shape he was in and anyone can see he is not healthy. Anyone could have seen that a long time ago. He probably would have been better off left on the street then with her. At least he could have dug in the garbage or something so as to not starve to death.

  5. very, very sad for the heartless person, yes heartless, i think that there should be a law like the years ago, eye for an eye ect., this heartless person starved this dog the same should be done in return to see how it feels, but you know people will not get away with it no matter what they do eventually it comes back, very sad, let us know more on the dog how he’s doing, concerned individual


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