LORAIN, Ohio -- A dog, starved, severely injured and left for dead, is inspiring people to take a stand against animal abuse.
Hundreds of people and their pets took to the streets of Lorain on Sunday, pounding the pavement for a purpose.
They walked for Herbie, a dog so neglected and abused that he cannot now walk for himself. Pat Fogo, who organized the Walk For Herbie, said someone called police because they thought the dog was dead.
"And, when the officer arrived, he found a dog that should weigh 70-80 pounds, was weighing 25 pounds. He said he had never seen one so emaciated in his life,” Fogo explained.
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Herbie was found in the front of an abandoned house of West 11th Street in Lorain a week ago Saturday. Fogo said not only was he severely underweight, but he had a fractured skull.
"They weren't sure even at the first 24 to 48 hours if he would even make it. He couldn't raise his head. He couldn't do anything," she said.
Dog owner Sarah Frish took part in Sunday’s walk in support of Herbie.
"It's really upsetting just to see that, to see a dog in that condition. And, for someone to let it get that far and consciously do that,” Frish added.
The mile walk went past the house where Herbie was found. They purposely walked in that neighborhood, hoping to find the person responsible for abusing Herbie.
"We really believe someone out there knows the perpetrator. That dog could not have gotten in that condition overnight. So, someone had to, at one point or another, seen this dog being starved to death, in a cage wherever he was,” Fogo said.
An anonymous donor is posting a $500 reward for the capture of the person responsible for Herbie's neglect and injuries. The reward is expected to go higher.
The Walk For Herbie was not just about one abused dog. It also was to raise awareness of the effort to pass House Bill 108, known as Nitro's Law.
Nitro was a dog that starved to death in a kennel.
Mike Smeck, with the Nitro Foundation, said Nitro's law would change animal abuse crimes from a misdemeanor to a felony offense.
“We are behind 46 other states that have a first offense felony provision and we don't understand why our senior legislators can't see the clearly defined link between animal abuse and human abuse,” Smeck said.
The law would apply to animal abuse by kennel owners and employees. The bill awaits a full vote of the senate.
"If it is not voted on Tuesday, the bill will die again like Nitro died,” Smeck added.
Herbie is making slow, steady progress, but he will need surgery and time to heal and get stronger before he can be adopted. Organizers of the walk say they are not giving up until the person who abused Herbie is caught and prosecuted.