Animal Control Nurtures Emaciated Dogs Back To Health; Owner accused of animal cruelty

STAFFORD CO., Va. (WWBT) – Two people will be charged after two dogs were found extremely emaciated in Stafford County.

On January 25, Deputy OJ Hepperle was called to a town home in England Run to check on a dog’s welfare.

Hepperle found a 6-year-old dog named Gracie, who was extremely skinny, and 2-year-old Dean in the backyard in much worse shape. Dean was extremely emaciated and had trouble getting up.

Hepperle informed the owners that the two dogs had to take her to the vet.

“On arrival at White Oak Animal Hospital, Dean was unable to go inside and had to be carried. The vet’s examination revealed that Dean’s organs were shut down and his chances of survival were slim,” the sheriff’s office said.

Hepperle agreed to nurse Dean at home. Then, on January 27, she noticed he was having trouble breathing and took Dean to the Virginia Veterinary Center, where he was being held for nursing.

Dean was found in the backyard extremely emaciated and struggling to get up. He is still under 24-hour care.(Stafford County Sheriff’s Office)

On January 28, just after midnight, Hepperle received a phone call and was told the death toll was rapidly decreasing and might require euthanasia.

“She rushed to the vet, and amazingly, Dean’s heart rate increased when Deputy Hepperle entered the room,” the sheriff’s office said.

Gracie is safe at the shelter and Dean is still receiving 24/7 treatment. Dean’s medical expenses continue to mount while they work to save his life. Anyone who would like to donate to their care can contact the Friends of Stafford County Animal Shelter or the Stafford County Animal Shelter directly to learn how they can help.

Gracie and Dean’s owners, Ryan and Crystal Wood, have been charged with two counts of animal cruelty. They were arrested and released on unsecured bail.

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