ROCKFORD, IL (WREX/CNN) – An Illinois real estate agent saved a dog who he believes was left to die without food or water for several weeks in a rental property.
Realtor Tim Johnson was contacted Thursday by a neighbor with a request to check on a rental home in Rockford, IL, citing a possible dog left inside.
The man rushed over to check it out. He says once he went inside, he couldn’t believe what he saw – a pit bull was inside the apartment, so thin he could see the bones in her ribs and back.
"I found her in this condition with no food, no water, and she had obviously been there for multiple weeks," Johnson said. "There was feces and urine everywhere. She had tried to dig her way through the floors to try to get out.”
The dog was emaciated and scared, and Johnson says he knew he had to save her. He gave the dog the temporary name “Lady” and plans to take her to Iowa, where she’ll be nursed back to health.
Johnson says he can’t believe someone would leave such a sweet dog behind to fend for herself.
Stephanie Hicks, executive director for non-profit rescue organization Care for Pets, says this never should have happened.
"It’s heartbreaking because there are resources. People hesitate to give them to animal services, maybe because there is a $25 fee," Hicks said.
Hicks says abandoning an animal can come with charges and much higher fees.
"If you're not providing proper food, water, vet care for your pet, it is a misdemeanor," she said.
Johnson says he’s glad he was able to save the innocent animal, who he believes was left alone for up to three weeks. Multiple families in Iowa are already interested in adopting the dog.
The property owners plan to file a police report, as well as a report to Winnebago County Animal Services.
Copyright 2018 WREX, Tim Johnson via CNN. All rights reserved.