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Humane Society seeks answers on dog's poor condition

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    Hope, a stray, malnourished adult German shepherd, is in recovery at the Toledo Humane Society in Maumee. Hope was originally surrendered to Lucas County Canine & Control.

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  • CTY-SHEPHERD30p-1

    Hope, a stray, malnourished adult German shepherd, is in recovery at the Toledo Humane Society in Maumee. Hope was originally surrendered to Lucas County Canine & Control.

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    Buy This Image

  • CTY-SHEPHERD30p

    Volunteer LeeAnn Kosch feeds Hope, a stray, malnourished adult German shepherd.

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    Volunteer LeeAnn Kosch kisses Hope, a stray, malnourished adult German shepherd.

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  • CTY-SHEPHERD30p-3

    Toledo Area Humane Society President and CEO Stephen Heaven watches Hope, a stray adult German shepherd.

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  • CTY-SHEPHERD30p-5

    Hope, a stray, malnourished adult German shepherd, is in recovery at the Toledo Humane Society in Maumee. Hope was originally surrendered to Lucas County Canine & Control.

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  • CTY-SHEPHERD30p-6

    Chief veterinarian Dr. Anna Brown pets Hope.

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  • CTY-SHEPHERD30p-7

    Volunteer LeeAnn Kosch feeds Hope.

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Hope is in a seriously bad way.

The female German shepherd estimated at 4 to 5 years old is significantly emaciated, unable to stand on her own, nearly bald, and fighting for her life at the Toledo Area Humane Society in Maumee.

“She is the worst we’ve seen in quite a while,” Stephen Heaven, president and chief executive, said. “It’s taken a long time for her to get like this. She’s very, very weak.”

WATCH: German shepherd found emaciated, fighting for her life

The humane society is seeking the public’s help to garner any and all information about the dog, where she came from, and who may be responsible for her exceptionally deplorable condition.

Hope was turned in Thursday as a stray to Lucas County Canine Care & Control. Robert Pedelose said he found her on his son’s porch in the 1200 block of Navarre Avenue in East Toledo.

“She was just laying there and looked like she was half starved to death,” he said. “I don’t know who she belonged to. I just found her. I didn’t see nobody.”

Mr. Pedelose said he believes he saw her wandering the neighborhood a few days prior but hadn’t seen her in the area before that.

“I seen her a couple other times up there on the east side. She was just walking around, kind of weak,” he said. “There’s a lot of animals roaming around here.”

Hope weighs 48 pounds. Records from the county shelter show she was infested with fleas, had severe ear infections, and her toenails were 2-plus inches long and curling under. She was transferred to the humane society Friday and has been hospitalized there since.

The shelter’s veterinarian, Dr. Anna Brown, said Hope should weigh at least 60 pounds and her prognosis is guarded. She was initially severely dehydrated and has been kept on intravenous fluids, but she is eating on her own.

Staff members have been helping her stand regularly so she can eliminate and start regaining muscle strength. Hope also shows signs of an underlying neurological issue, but the cause and severity is as of yet undetermined.

“We’re trying to determine whether she can’t move because she’s in such poor body condition, or does she have some other kind of neurologic condition that is causing her to not have the strength to get up and move around,” Dr. Brown said.

Given her condition, it would have been impossible for her to find her way onto that East Toledo porch under her own power.

“Looking at her, there’s no way she walked up onto somebody’s porch and lay down,” Dr. Brown said. “Someone put her there. She doesn’t have the strength to do that.”

The shelter is also treating Hope’s skin infection and working to determine whether it stemmed from mange or fleas. Her skin is thickened and black, indicating she’s been suffering with the condition for a long time.

Mr. Heaven asked anyone with information about the dog to call the humane society’s animal cruelty hotline at 419-891-9777 or submit a tip online at toledohumane.org/stop-animal-cruelty.

“We’re looking for any witnesses or any information to the effect of how this dog got there, whether anybody’s seen it, or whether anybody knows it,” he said.

Contact Alexandra Mester amester@theblade.com419-724-6066, or on Twitter @AlexMesterBlade.

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