Dog returned to Denver-area rescue group with ribs showing, hair missing

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ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- A dog adopted from a metro Denver rescue group was recently returned in terrible condition.

Pictures of Labrador retriever mix "Maggie" have been circulating on social media. Earlier this year, she was adopted from Rezdawg Rescue Group and taken to a home in Englewood.

In September, Maggie was returned to Rezdawg with her ribs showing and hair missing. Volunteer Daniel Hill couldn’t believe his eyes.

"It really is a horrifying and disheartening image to know that this is actually going on in our own backyards," Hill said.

After the dog was returned, Rezdawg asked Englewood's animal control to investigate for animal cruelty and neglect. However, court records show the case was dismissed.

"The city does not feel the facts alleged supports the charge of cruelty or neglect of a dog," a city attorney said in one court document.

Hill said he posted photos of Maggie on social media out of frustration, saying more needs to be done to protect animals.

"We have to ask tough questions of our local governments. Are they doing enough for the animals who don’t have a voice for themselves?" Hill said.

The Rezdawg Rescue Group says it was never contacted to represent Maggie in court.

Maggie is now back in foster care at a different home and is doing much better. She is up or adoption once again.

On Tuesday, the city of Englewood provided an official response to our inquiry about the situation:

"In response to questions about the safety and treatment of “Maggie”, a rescue dog, city officials have verified that the dog is currently in good hands and slowly recovering. The city was first notified of a possible problem on September 4, 2018 when a member of RezDawg Rescue filed a complaint with the Code Enforcement and Animal Welfare Division of the Englewood Police. Based on their research, the Code Enforcement officers issued a summons within 48 hours requiring the adoptive family to appear in court to answer charges of animal cruelty. The prosecuting attorney in the Englewood Municipal Court thoroughly investigated the matter. The adoptive owner had voluntarily contacted RezDawg Rescue in order to relinquish ownership of Maggie, citing financial and health difficulties that made it impossible to pay for veterinarian expenses associated with the dog’s previously known issues with skin allergies. After the dog was relinquished, Maggie was also diagnosed with giardia, a common if dangerous intestinal infection that accounted for her recent rapid weight loss. The prosecuting attorney determined that while Maggie’s condition was poor, her treatment by the adoptive owner did not rise to the legal definition of animal cruelty. Maggie is now back in foster care under RezDawg Rescue. A local animal rescue organization, and her heath continues to improve."

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