MIDDLETOWN, Ohio – Police say a man was charged with animal cruelty after chaining his German shepherd to a tree for four years. According to authorities, the dog was starved, infected and physically abused.
The dog’s owner, Jeremy Shane Temple, was fined $25.
Rescuers renamed the dog, Joseph, after the biblical character who was left for dead and became a ruler.
Meg Melampy, a volunteer at the Progressive Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), said fleas were eating Joseph alive and when she bathed him, “the blood just ran off of him,” she said.
Officers said neighbors witnessed the alleged abuse, but thought the animal was sick. Ron Allman, one of the Temple’s neighbors, said, “they told us that it was a disease that he had,” he said.
After Temple was arrested, one of his family members allegedly asked Allman for a favor: “She wanted us to write a sort of note…that we never saw anyone mistreat the dog…so we did.”
The arresting officer asked Temple about the dog’s condition. According to the police report, Temple told the officer that “the dog is not a human.”
Temple is due in court on Oct. 14.
Joseph is expected to make a full recovery.