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Friday, Dec 3, 2010County: Snohomish
Alleged: A Man
Veronica is a pretty clever canine.
She figured out how to use her snout to raise and lower door handles to roam from room to room and plies a gentle charm to endear herself to whoever happens to be holding the dog biscuits.
Veronica is more than a dappled dog with a friendly demeanor who likes car rides: The gangly-legged Great Dane is evidence for a court case.
When she was brought to the Everett Animal Shelter on Dec. 3, the adult Dane weighed just 43 pounds, about half of what she should for her age and breed.
She was lethargic; her body temperature was about 10 degrees lower than it should have been.
"It was amazing she was even standing," City of Everett spokeswoman Kate Reardon said.
Veronica had a liver infection, lesions on her skin and sores in her mouth. She looked more like an emaciated greyhound than a Great Dane.
On her first day at the shelter, being nourished through tubes, some worried she might not make it through the night.
Under a veterinarian's guidance, her food portions were increased slowly. Three weeks later, she's still scrawny but has gained 15 pounds.
Police arrested a Marysville man on suspicion of second-degree animal cruelty in December, Marysville Lt. Darin Rasmussen said. Police reports explaining how the dog became so malnourished were not immediately available.
The suspect could face arraignment in Marysville Municipal Court in January, Rasmussen said. The investigation is ongoing.
City of Everett veterinarian Lisa Thompson said Veronica was brought in as a stray. In her nearly two years on the job, she said, Veronica is one of the two most striking cases of a malnourished animal that she has seen.
An Everett animal control officer has been serving as a foster parent for the dog, bringing her home and giving her plenty of attention, shelter assistant director Shannon Delgado said.
"She was grossly underweight, but she's looking much better now," she said.
It could be a long time before Veronica finds a permanent home, Reardon said.
First, she must get healthy. Then the court case must be resolved.
Reardon said an increase in participation among foster families for shelter animals has been a boon to getting pets adopted sooner.
"They help them adjust to a loving home environment," Reardon said. "They have been a huge asset."
The Everett Animal Shelter's mission is to return lost animals to owners, provide care to lost or unwanted animals and find new homes for adoptable pets.
Shelter workers and volunteers care for about 9,000 animals each year.
- heraldnet.com - Jan 3, 2011
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