One day on Facebook, Kelly Benzel ran across a photo of a white dog named Rocco. Below the photo, there was a message from his temporary owners.
They had been housing him for several months after taking him from his original family who could no longer keep him. Now they were looking for a forever home for him.
Benzel immediately felt that he had found that home with her, so she messaged the temporary owners and set up a time to pick Rocco up. And, that’s when she discovered their dirty little secret as reported by I Heart Dogs…
On the drive home, Benzel couldn’t help but notice Rocco’s smell. It seemed to get stronger the longer they were in the car, but it wasn’t your typical “dirty dog” stench.
She pulled over to check him out and found the devastating source of the smell.
The dog’s previous owners had sent him away with his harness still on. When Benzel lifted the harness straps away from his body, she found an angry-looking wound seared into the dog’s skin.
It was about six inches long, almost two inches deep, and it was clearly infected.
She didn’t know how long Rocco had been suffering with the wound, but she wasn’t willing to let it go on a day longer. She took him to the vet the same day she got him.
The veterinarian carefully removed the aging harness and cleaned and bandaged the wound.
They said the harness was most likely put on the dog several months early and never taken off. As the young dog grew, the thick straps dug into his skin and slowly became embedded.
Benzel was furious. She immediately contacted the temporary owners and demanded to know how they could neglect a dog for so long.
They claimed they had no idea Rocco had a wound, and had kept the harness on the entire time they had him because he would run away without it.
The temporary owners said they wished to handle the situation, and that the previous owners would pay the vet bills.
But, Benzel didn’t think their story added up. How could they not have noticed the horrible smell of infected flesh? So she went ahead and called the police.
…both the family she talked to and the dog’s previous owner were charged with mistreatment of animals/causing death.
They were given $1,500 signature bonds and face a maximum sentence of three and a half years in prison.
Now that Benzel feels Rocco has gotten the justice he deserves, she wants to help him move on with his life.
Rocco may have had a rough early life, but it’s obvious that he has found a loving forever home now. And, someone who will always be in his corner to watch out for him.
Source: I Heart Dogs