When a Shih Tzu was found in the road wandering a neighborhood the Good Samaritan who found him couldn’t believe what they were seeing. The dog was totally blind, severely underweight and was so severely matted that maggots were living in her fur.
The Good Samaritan held the small dog, named Trixie, and called the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office in Florida for help. The dog’s rescue lead to an investigation, two more dogs. One, a chow mix, was also matted, blind and had paralyzed back legs. The other was a Pit Bull in “fair” shape, considering. Both were seized by Animal Control and a woman was later arrested and charged with two counts of felony animal cruelty.
Citrus County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) shared details of the dogs’ rescue on Facebook, writing:
“This past Sunday evening Animal Control Officers seized three dogs, two of which were in very, very horrific condition. A 9 lb Shih Tzu was found in the road wandering a neighborhood. A good Samaritan held the dog to keep it safe and waited for ACOs to arrive. The dog is totally blind (and was in the middle of the street) but worse than that was the body condition of the dog.
“She was severely underweight but she also had mats and dreadlocks caked and encrusted with feces and urine hanging from 95% of her body that, when shaved off by the vet, weighed 3 lbs AND HAD MAGGOTS LIVING UNDER THE MATTED FUR. The vet and her staff said they’ve never seen any case this bad. They even dug a piece of 5” wire out of one of the dreadlocks.
“The ACOs that responded knocked door to door and eventually found a neighbor that recognized the dog and showed them where it lived but the owners were not home.”
“Two additional dogs were found in the back yard, one of which was paralyzed in her back end and unable to stand or walk, was also badly matted and blind. The third dog only showed minor signs of neglect but ACOs later learned she hadn’t been there nearly as long as the other two.”
When police returned to the home, they arrested the 45-year-old owner, Joi Richheimer, who told the arresting officer, “I didn’t mean for them to get this bad”.
The CCSO later said that the “Vets are working on both dogs to improve their conditions. They are both in good hands now. The last photo is of the Shih Tzu after being cleaned up.”
“Thank you, ACOs and deputies for all you do to protect our animals!” It’s terrible to think this woman let the dogs suffer for so long. Thankfully, she was taken to jail and faces two felony animal abuse charges.