Jeremy Shane Temple is in trouble with police after leaving Joseph the Dog chained to a tree for four straight years.
The Ohio man was napped by police officers who found the 5- to 7-year-old dog chain to a backyard tree in Middleton, covered in fleas and painful bites and with little food and water.
When an officers showed up to arrest Jeremy Shane Temple, he reportedly told the arresting officer, “The dog is not a human.”
Police found out that Temple had kept Joseph the Dog chained to the tree for four straight years. Aside from its hunger and dehydration, the dog was also suffering heartworms.
Neighbors reportedly suspected that Temple was abusing Joseph the Dog, but he told them that the dog had a medical condition that made him appear emaciated.
“They told us that it was a disease that he had,” said Ron Allman, Temple’s next-door neighbor.
Allman added that a Temple family member asked him to help cover up the abuse.
“She wanted us to write a sort of note…that we never saw anyone mistreat the dog…so we did,” Allman said.
Joseph the Dog has since been taken to Progressive Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), where he is recovering.
“He’s feeling a little better now, a little more perky,” West Chester veterinary clinic manager Michael Gigis said.
Workers said it was one of the most difficult case of animal abuse they had ever seen.
“It’s just hard, really, seeing a dog that skinny,” Kassie Jadin, the facilities manager at PAWS, told HuffPost Crime. “It’s just so pathetic all around. There aren’t enough words to explain how sad it is.”
Jeremy Shane Temple was fined and released for his treatment of Joseph the Dog, and is due back in court on October 14 to face animal abuse charges.