Owner cited for animal cruelty after dog found malnourished in Gaston Co.

INDIAN TRAIL, NC (WBTV) - A man was issued a citation by animal control officers in Gaston County after a video of his malnourished dog circulated on Facebook.

Gaston County police did not name the man, but said he was cited for animal cruelty, specifically for failing to obtain veterinary care for the dog.

The video posted to Facebook shows the white dog dragging itself around in its cage with no use of its back legs. The dog looks emaciated and its cage is outside, leaving the dog exposed to the elements.

Captain Steve Jentsch with GCPD Animal Care and Enforcement said that animal control officers went out to check on the dog at a home along Tryon Courthouse Road in Bessemer City. He said the owner surrendered the dog to officers after being cited. Jenstch said the man who owned the dog was not in a position to care for the canine.

Daryl Strickland, the director of FurBabies Animal Rescue in Indian Trail, told WBTV she got a call about the dog Saturday morning. She said someone she works with had contacted her asking if she could take the malnourished canine.

"This one was one of those that just really tore up my heart," said Strickland.

She was able to retrieve the dog from animal control and take it to her facility in Indian Trail. She thinks the rescue may have come just in time to save the dog's life.

"She was in pretty bad shape. I think if she had stayed there one more night as cold as it was, I don't know if she'd made it, said Strickland.

Strickland is now calling the dog, "Snowy". She said she will keep Snowy until she is healthy and adoptable. She thinks the dog may be ready to go live with someone else in a few months.

The rescue director has Snowy using a makeshift wheelchair to get around. The wheels allow for Snowy to pull herself around using her good legs.

"It was like her ticket to freedom. She started running and playing," said Strickland.

She hopes that Snowy's atrophied hind legs will eventually become strong enough that she can walk on them again.

The rescue director is also trying to get the dog back up to a normal weight. She's been giving Snowy treats and high-calorie snacks in hopes that it will fatten the dog up.

"She's scrounging for food. She's not trusting yet that she's gonna get a next meal," said Strickland.

Strickland has been posting updates about the dog's recovery on the FurBabies Animal Rescue Facebook page.

She said anyone interested in adopting Snowy can contact her on that page. She will start looking through applications in about six weeks.

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