Belpre woman faces animal cruelty charge

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MARIETTA, Ohio (WTAP) - A Belpre woman has been issued a summons to appear in court, after police say she abused and neglected a service dog she owned.

The Washington County Sheriff's Office says a deputy saw a "severely emaciated" pitbull-lab, mixed-breed dog running loose in Belpre. The deputy brought the dog to a veterinarian, who said the dog was 20 pounds underweight from lack of food and water.

Investigators spoke to the dog's owner, 24-year-old Erica Kidder, who initially denied owning the dog, but then told deputies she had rescued the dog from a cruel situation about 8 months earlier. Kidder told deputies she had left town and arranged for Elizabeth Pathel to take care of her two dogs.

Deputies spoke to Pathel, who told them she had no such agreement with Kidder, and she assumed the dogs were with Kidder. Kidder was issued a court summons for charges of cruelty to a companion animal.

The dog is being treated at the Washington County Humane Society, where officials say it’s already getting a healthy weight gain and seems to be feeling much better.

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