Danville, VA - The owners of a dog that was taken away by Danville's Animal Control last month were in court for a custody hearing Wednesday.
Officials found the dog in a small pen, covered in flies and maggots and with a 12 inch chain wrapped around its neck.The Danville Area Humane Society says this is one of the worst cases of animal neglect and cruelty they've ever seen.
The judge determined that the Humane Society will get custody of the dog.
The dog's owner, Paula Easley, and her daughter Ella Easley were both summoned to court. A Danville Police Officer testified that he was called to Paula's house and found the dog
He says it was so tight the dog could not lift its head and said "the dog's spirit was broken." The officer says he had to use bolt cutters to remove the chain.
He testified Paula Easley told him she knew about the condition the dog was in. She said Wednesday it was Ella's dog, even though it had been at her house for years, but Ella testified she did not know it was in this condition.
Neither would comment to us.
The Humane Society's Paulette Dean says the dog was in critical condition. It has been through one surgery and will undergo another, costing around $1,500.
"It's horrible. You just wonder how in the world did they not know. How could they not care but they didn't and they've lost Dawn," said Dean.
The judge also determined both Paula and Ella will be responsible for paying for the medical bills, and they are no longer allowed to have a companion animal.
Both are facing six charges and could get up to a year behind bars.