A Facebook photo of a stick-thin Florida dog chained up outside went viral Tuesday, sparking calls for the owner and animal control officials to find a new home for the Doberman Pinscher.
The photo of the dog, posted online by animal rights group 100+ Abandoned Dogs of Everglades Florida, was shared more than 2,500 times and garnered some 3,000 comments in a matter of hours Tuesday. Animal supporters flocked to the home of the owner, whose Fort Lauderdale address was included in the post, to protest the pup's condition.
"The first thing that went through my mind was that something had to be done," said animal lover Mary Hagopian, who was among the dozens of advocates who decided that doing something meant showing up to support the dog's rescue.
Veterinary technician and dog owner Lori Rudock saw the animal up close from her friend's neighboring back fence.
"It came out with this big, heavy chain on ... Total ribs," she said. "It was terrible."
Rudock, and her Jack Russell terrier, were among the dozens who showed up outside the home of the frail dog’s owner.
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Amy Roman, whose group put the photo on Facebook, said all came to help, after learning the dog was, reportedly, chained up, and barking for weeks, with no food or water in sight.
"I said, 'please, let us take the dog. Do you need food? Let us take the dog, we'll bring it to the hospital. We're a rescue, we'll get it a home,” she said
According to Roman, he responded, “It's a dog, get off my F-ing property."
Fort Lauderdale Police told NBC 6 its officers came by and did find a thin dog tethered to a fence, but also noted the presence of food and water. Animal Control noted the same: observing a friendly, but still very frail puppy.
The owners were later cited with a warning. It is legal for dogs to be tethered under reasonable time limits, and within sight of their owners. But ill treatment, abuse, and failing to provide food, water and shelter are against the law.
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