Charges Pending After “Skeleton Dog” Found In Tiny Crate

When animal control officers found Ziggy, she resembled a skeleton more than she did a puppy. 

This poor girl was starved nearly to death and kept in a 24-inch crate. Weighing only 26 pounds, about half of what she should weigh, the hound mix could barely lift her head when rescuers found her. 

Image: Hope For Life Rescue/ Facebook

But she did manage to wag her tail — a sign of hope for the dog who has been through so much. 

Ziggy was brought to Hope for Life Rescue in Virginia Beach on Monday afternoon. The owner’s roommate made a call to animal control after finding the pup locked in a tiny crate. Officers believe that’s where Ziggy spent most of her days. 

Image: Hope For Life Rescue/ Facebook

“When she came in, we were all very emotional,” Danielle Rugenus, the office manager at Hope for Life Rescue, told WTKR News. “Then for the rest of the night, it was very much solemn because you just don’t know where someone’s mind is that does that. We want to make sure the people that did this to her know that this is not okay; that this is beyond disbelief to see something like this.”

Ziggy was so weak that she couldn’t even stand and wasn’t able to bark. But luckily, thanks to the rescue, she is making slow but steady progress. 

“She’s eating every two to four hours,” Rugenus said. “She has no bark. Currently, when you do see her trying to bark, her mouth just kind of opens and closes. It’s almost like her voice box has been taken out. That could be due to the fact that she’s barked excessively for her life, or could be possibly from the malnutrition, as well.”

Because of Ziggy’s poor body condition, her hair is starting to fall out in clumps. Her bones are visible still, but thanks to the rescue, she is slowly putting on weight. 

Luckily, according to the rescue, charges are being pressed against the former owner. The community has rallied around Ziggy, donating toys, beds, and food. Local people have also donated around $3,500 to help with her medical expenses and ongoing care. 

Image: Hope For Life Rescue/ Facebook

“We want to thank everyone from the bottom of our hearts,” said Rugenus. “We do appreciate everyone wanting to help out this sweet girl because she deserves the world.”

With time, Ziggy will be at a healthy weight and looking for her forever home. She already has gained so much interest from the local community that it won’t be difficult to find her the perfect home. 

Image: Hope For Life Rescue/ Facebook

“We’ll be going through each individual file, and we will be picking out the best applicant that will be able to give her all the love in the world,” Rugenus said.

To help Ziggy recover, you can make a donation here.

H/T: WTKR News 

Featured Image: Hope for Life Rescue/ Facebook

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