A Closer Look At Animal Abuse And Cruelty In West Michigan

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HOLLAND, Mich.– A puppy left stranded for weeks on the streets in Holland is finally getting the care it needs, and professionals say it’s a case that is, sadly, too common.

And after digging through data on neglect, it’s clear that cases like this are a problem in several counties across West Michigan.

Charlie, a five-month-old puppy, was brought to Mapleview Animal Hospital in Holland Saturday.  Dr. Jim Bader says the dog is at least 10 pounds underweight and has an untreated case of puppy mange tjat led to a serious infection.

“I see that on a daily basis in Guatemala,” said Dr. Bader. “I shouldn’t see that in Holland, where it’s a totally different base of how we should care for our pets.”

Dr. Bader says Charlie was definitely someone’s pet and that “he is too sweet and too socially acceptable to not have been somebody’s dog at some point in time.”

In Kent County last year, animal control dealt with an estimated 860 suspected complaints of neglect and cruelty.

The Calhoun County Animal Shelter says in 2012, 53 abused dogs were brought in, and the Ottawa County Sheriffs Office says they responded to an estimated 60 possible calls on abuse or neglect.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg,” Bader said. “(Charlie) is just a symptom of the disease. There are animals like this in shelters and rescue groups all across the country on a day-to-day basis, and unless we step up and start interacting and coming forward, this is going to happen all too often.”

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  • Michelle

    Thank you Fox 17 for sharing Charlie's story. After weeks of people watching him suffer and struggle, it's good to know that people will now see him and actually feel some compassion for him. It's sad that help was available to Charlie all along. If his original owner couldn't afford his medical issues, they could have applied for Care Credit, they could have borrowed from friends, they could have released him to a rescue group or the local humane shelter. To his original owner who abandoned him and the people who watched this suffering stray dog for weeks without seeking help for him: SHAME ON YOU!!!

  • Lorrie

    This is so sad i see it so often working with rescue groups if someone can tell me how to get in touch with these people i would love to adopt charlie. This is a horrible thing but sometimes the vet care is so costly and people should not get animals if they cannot afford them but vets should also be able to work with people on the cost of animal care

  • len charette

    That's terrible. Those who abuse the helpless are despicable. Glad he's on his way to being healthy again. I can't say I'm surprised though. With wages being so low and hrs being cut the defenseless are the 1st to be abused and hurt.

  • Rocio and Denis

    We would love to adopt him if he cannot find a home! If anyone has any information we would greatly appreciate it! We rescued our last puppy and she is happy as ever and we would love to give her a forever friend! Please feel free to email me at verar@mail.gvsu.edu with any information you may have.