Thin Dog Whose Photo Went Viral Shows No Signs of Abuse: Police | NBC 6 South Florida

Thin Dog Whose Photo Went Viral Shows No Signs of Abuse: Police

Duchess the Doberman was allowed to remain with her owners after investigators said she showed no signs of abuse.



    (Published Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013)

    Officials have determined that a rail-thin Doberman Pinscher whose photo went viral on Facebook was not in poor health and displayed no signs of abuse or neglect.

    Fort Lauderdale Police Detectives and a Broward County Animal Control specialist went to owner D'Anthony Davis' home on the 1600 block of NE 17th Avenue Wednesday morning and found the 2-month-old Doberman, named Duchess, untethered in the back yard, according to Fort Lauderdale Police.

    Animal control said the dog was thin, but did not appear to be in poor health.

    A visit to the vet showed Duchess wasn't putting on weight because she had hookworm.

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    "I think we just didn't know that she had hookworm, so it's not our fault," said Sherene Walker, Duchess' other owner.

    During the visit with investigators, Davis showed them a tub of high quality dog food and recent medical records, police said. The investigators did not see signs of abuse, worms, fleas or mange.

    Davis said the whole ordeal was a misunderstanding.

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    "I take care of my dog," he said. "I had dogs all my life. My parents taught me to take care of stuff I have... I wouldn't neglect the dog, because I think that's unfair to the dog."

    Davis said he put Duchess in time-out for a few hours Tuesday morning, but never neglected her.

    "She's a house dog," he said. "We had her outside because she had some discipline problems barking. She had plenty of food and water."

    Duchess gets fed three times a day, he said.

    The photo of Duchess was posted on Facebook by animal rights group 100+ Abandoned Dogs of Everglades Florida. It was shared more than 4,000 times and garnered more than 4,100 comments.

    A post on the group's Facebook page Wednesday afternoon said Duchess had been removed from the owners' home, but Fort Lauderdale Police said she was taken to a free check-up by the Animal Control vet and returned to her owners.

    Another puppy, a shepherd mix, was at the house, and investigators said it appeared to be in good health and well-nourished.

    Police said no further follow up on the dogs is necessary at this time and any further concerns should be addressed to Broward County Animal Control.

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