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Sick local dog neglected for years gets second chance

Bluto, 14, was seized by Columbiana County's Dog Warden a month ago

COLUMBIANA, Ohio (WKBN) - A local dog is getting a second chance at life after spending years chained in a backyard.

But that chance will likeky be short lived. Bluto's body -- emaciated and with thin fur -- is shutting down after years of neglect.

"He is now Lyme positive, in kidney failure, he's anemic and he was infested with fleas," Amy Dowd of the Dog Warden said.

Bluto, 14, was seized by Columbiana County's Dog Warden a month ago. They found him chained and emaciated in a backyard.

This isn't the first time Bluto has been in animal advocates' crosshairs.

Two years ago, locals said Bluto's owner wasn't giving him adequate shelter.

"Extremely healthy looking dog visibly," Warden said. "His living conditions were very deplorable and that was the biggest complaint."

Bluto's body is now shutting down. A local vet stepped up to give him a home and hospice care.

"He's basically a dog where you will medicate him for the conditions, keep him as comfortable and as happy as you can until he shows any signs of suffering," Dowd said.

Dowd says Bluto's case isn't unique. She finds dogs all over Columbiana County suffering at the end of a heavy chain.

The county doesn't have any tethering laws.

"Dogs screaming in the woods, finding them tangled around their chains in inclement weather -- it never ends," Dowd said. "Something like that absolutely needs to be put into place."

Now that he's free, Dowd hopes Bluto can live out the rest of his life in peace.

"My hope is a miracle," she said. "And his hospice mom tells me that he's doing wonderful and he outlives all of what we can expect."

Dowd says the owner wasn't home when she seized the dog. She left a notice and he called several days later -- claiming to have done nothing wrong.

The owner signed Bluto over to the Dog Warden.

Dowd won't say if she's filing charges against the owner. But she did say that Bluto's owner can never own another animal.

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