Recovering Dog Needs Family in Final Days

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RAVENNA, Ohio -- A starved and neglected dog is hoping someone will give him a new start in life as he travels his road to recovery.

Tanner, an 11-year-old German Shepherd, is being nursed back to health at the Portage Animal Protective League in Ravenna.

"Hair loss, scab wounds, very underweight, bones sticking out, ribs, vertebrae, all those things," said APL executive director Chalan Lowry.

The Hiram police chief found Tanner last August in poor condition, drinking out of a stream, and contacted the APL.

"Normally, he wasn't out of the house, so he stayed inside the house, but he happened to go outside and then he left the property without the caretaker knowing where he had gone," said Portage County humane officer Steve Chapman.

Chapman found the dog's owner, and after speaking with her, charged her with animal neglect.

"It's terrible when you see animals like that, it breaks your heart that anybody could hurt them or look at that dog every day and see what we see and go (gasp), we see it and want to cry and they looked at it every day and thought that was acceptable," said Lowry.

APL officials say the owner plead no contest to the charge and has agreed to give the APL custody of the dog.  They admit it is tougher to find a loving home for older dogs.

"He's a senior guy, he's been through a lot and he's harder to place.  Not everyone's looking for an older dog that wants to just lay on the couch and enjoy the rest of his life," said Lowry.

"He's gone back to where he's gained weight, where some of the injuries and that were sustained to him were healed up," said Chapman.

Read why Tanner's story was kept a secret until now ...

After months of treatment, Tanner is ready for a family to live out his life with.  The people at the APL say they are glad they were able to help, but admit it can be pretty expensive.

"There's no funding for us other than the $20 a week that somebody sends or the $100 a year that someone sends in.  Cases like that, that last five months, they cost thousands of dollars and we're happy to do it, but we have to have funding coming in continually to be able to do it," said Lowry.

Tanner will be available for adoption soon.

His former owner is scheduled to be sentenced in March.

Click here to go to the Portage APL website ...

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