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The following is an archived video story. The text content of that video story is available below for reference. The original video has been deleted and is no longer available.

Starving Dog Found Chained to a Tree

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (Rich Jaffe) -- After what he's been through, it's amazing this pitiful German Shepard is even alive, and now the man who owns him will be headed to court.

Animal rescue volunteers and vets gave the dog a biblical name, Joseph, because it's a miracle he's still alive.

Investigators say the dog has been chained to a tree for years.

Sick and starving he was rescued Friday by police and animal advocates and now they're trying to save his life.  Local 12 News reporter Rich Jaffe has this very disturbing story.

In the last three months there have been four brutal cases of animal abuse coming out of Middletown but this is the worst.  In all Jaffe's years of telling stories he has never seen an animal that's been through this much abuse and is still breathing.

What you'll see here is going to upset a lot of people and it should.  "Joseph" should weigh about one hundred and twenty pounds.  When Middletown police and volunteers from PAWS brought him to the Westchester Veterinary Center last Friday, he barely weighed half of that.

He is so starved and sick he's literally nothing but skin and bones.

Clinic manager Mike Gigis says "I've seen some really bad dogs he's by far the worst.  His hair's falling out because of malnutrition, most of his teeth are gone.  His aren't gone from chewing bricks and rocks his were knocked out and the ones that are there are bad."

This sweet Shepherd's never been vaccinated.  He has heartworms and a raging ear infection.  Investigators say he was chained to a tree for years behind this Middletown home.

Called in to help, volunteer Meg Melampy took his chains off Friday.  She says, "My first thought was how sad he looked. He just looks up like with that head hanging low and that sad face and he's tethered to a chain to that tree and there's nothing around it, no food no water no straw, blanket, nothing for this dog."

Middletown police have charged the dogs owner Jeremy Shane Temple with animal torture, chaining and having an unlicensed dog.

He's due in court on October 14th.

In the meantime the vets and volunteers will try to save the dog and eventually find him a home.

Meg Melampy says " I would really like for the community to open their eyes and see and check out their neighbors and to call when they see a situation like this, and to know there's help out there.  They can call the police.  They can call the Dog Warden in Butler county and they can go get help.  Somebody should have called years ago on this dog."

The clinic manager says, "He's a good boy, he wants to be loved."

The advocates from PAWS, the rescue organization, are planning a demonstration in front of the Middletown Courthouse on the 14th when Jeremy Temple's case comes up for a pre-trial.

They and many other people believe we need to change state law so that abuse cases this egregious are prosecuted as felonies.  Local 12 will let you know what happens in court.

At this point, the medical bills for "Joseph" have added up to around 1,200 dollars.  Just the heartworm treatment alone could go as high as 2,500.

PAWS is a tax exempt charitable organization and if you'd like to help or find out more about PAWS click here.

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