Search and rescue dog in training now recovering after being found emaciated

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ROSS COUNTY, Ohio (WCMH) — A dog in training to become a search and rescue dog that showed up emaciated at the Ross County Humane Society is on the road to recovery. His owner, a police dispatcher in Ohio, is now facing charges of neglect. 

“I knew he was going to be in bad shape but I don’t think I was emotionally prepared for what he was going to look like,” said Ross County Humane Society Director Jennifer Thomas. During her time with the humane society, she has seen a lot. “They carried him out with slings to help him walk and they put him in the car and he couldn’t even move.” 

Sarge, a 5-year-old German Sheppard who was training to be a private search and rescue dog, was on the brink of death. After collapsing at his home, Thomas says, a local veterinarian saw him, and called the Humane Society over concerns that the dog had been starved. “The only thing that we can tell from the tests that we have done from the two vets we have talked to is that his condition was caused by malnutrition.” 

Sarge’s owner, Jessica Malone is a dispatcher with the Greenfield police department. She’s charged with failure to license and two counts of cruelty for failing to get proper medical care in a timely manner. Greenfield Police Chief, Jim Oyer, confirms while Malone is an employee with the department, her dog “is in no way affiliated with the Greenfield Police department.” 

Thomas says while Sarge was expecting to be certified this week, he had never been seen by a veterinarian while in Malones care.

“It never, to our knowledge, had been vaccinated. It never had been examined by a vet for behavioral soundness or health soundness or any of those things that you would think, as a person who is training a dog to do a job for you, those are things that you would want to do or would be necessary to do,” Thomas said. 

Days later and Sarge is now standing, responding to commands, and has gained 11 pounds, thanks to fluids and being fed properly.

“We’re feeding him about 1/4th of a cup of food every two hours. So, around the clock over the weekend one of my employees was feeding this dog every two hours.” 

As he hits the road to recovery, Thomas warns he’s still not out of the woods.

“We want to make sure that he is going to be safe in someone’s home. We want to make sure that he is going to be able to continue to get well. We don’t know what happened to him both physically emotionally mentally before we became involved all we see is a dog who has very little will to live.” 

To donate to the Ross County Humane Society, CLICK HERE: 

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