A North Carolina woman has been charged with two felony counts of killing an animal by starvation and a misdemeanor count of mistreatment of animals.
The woman, Kimberly Eudy Rice, allegedly left a German Shepard and a Chihuahua locked in a bathroom in her home for a month without food. The dogs were found on September 3 after an unnamed person called 911 to report the abuse. Upon arriving at the house, Animal Control also found a puppy, only a few weeks old and appearing to be a Chihuahua mix, locked in another bathroom. He was reportedly covered in fleas and emaciated.
The puppy, which was named Clover by his rescuers, survived, although Onslow County Animal Control Officer Alex Douglas said that he didn't think Clover would have made it much longer if they hadn't found him when they did.
Douglas told local television news channel WCTI12 that when the puppy was found he was "barely moving, trying to stand but falling over and very, like, extremely dehydrated. He was a skeleton, basically."
As of today, Clover has gained weight and is doing well.
Clover is only 6 or 7-weeks-old, too young for adoption. He is being cared for at the Onslow County Animal Shelter during the day and by a foster family at night, and will be put up for adoption in a few weeks when he is old enough.
It is unclear if Rice was even around to care for the dogs while they were starving in the bathrooms. A man who claims to know Rice posted in the comments on WITN's Facebook page that she was out of town and had left the dogs in someone else's care, but that has not been verified. Nor is it clear if Rice actually lived in the home, which was described as "unlivable" by Animal Control. The Jacksonville Daily News listed her address as being in base housing at nearby Camp Lejeune in the original report of her arrest on September 12.
Rice was picked up after a warrant was issued for her arrest, stating that she "maliciously" killed the dogs by "intentional deprivation of necessary sustenance." She has since been released on a $2000 bond.
Sadly, this isn't an isolated incident. Thousands of dogs die every year from abuse and neglect, such as the bull terrier in this recent Inquisitr report, which was starved to death by its owner in Tyneside, England.