Starving dog’s DNA may hold clues in cruelty case

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Her name is Hope.

She is five to seven years old.

She weighed just 30 pounds when a Good Samaritan found her wandering the streets in Branford, Connecticut last month. She was clearly starving. And by all accounts, she was near death.

Eli, the In Brief Legal Writing Services mascot.
In Brief Legal Writing Services mascot Eli catching up on the latest news. Photo by Alexandra Bogdanovic

For weeks, veterinarians at two animal hospitals struggled to save her. Her treatment included surgery to remove an object that had been obstructing her intestines — and a lot of TLC.

Their efforts paid off and today, Hope — whose plight attracted plenty of attention from the media and public —  seems to be well on the road to recovery. If all goes according to plan, she could soon be adopted.

DNA test may yield clues in ongoing investigation

In the meantime, a reward has been offered and authorities are still seeking information about the person or people who may be responsible for neglecting Hope.

Now the administrator of the animal shelter where the Good Samaritan brought Hope says the results of a recent DNA test might provide some additional insight.

“She is actually predominantly Rottweiler, 80 to 90 percent. One of the parents had to be a full-bred and the other parent was a mix,” Laura Burban told the media. “If somebody was breeding a certain type of dog, it would help us in our investigation, potentially, if anyone knows who was breeding this type of dog in the area. For some people who are backyard breeders, they breed long-term. They have many puppies, many litters and we thought it would be helpful.”

Animal cruelty and neglect

Under Connecticut law, someone is guilty of animal cruelty if they:

  • Deprive the animal of essential food and water
  • Abandon it
  • Confines it without providing proper care

The maximum punishment upon conviction for the first offense is a $1,000 fine, one year in prison or both. A second and each subsequent offense is classified as a Class D felony.

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