Update: abused dogs get new homes in Columbus - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Update: abused dogs get new homes in Columbus

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

UPDATE: The puppy in the custody of Columbus Animal Control has just been transferred to Animal Ark Rescue where it is no longer in danger of being euthanized and will be placed with a new family. Volunteers say she has a sweet personality despite being abused.

In less than 24 hours, police arrested Columbus residents in two separate parts of town for not taking care of their dogs. Both men spent the Thanksgiving holiday in jail.  

A rescued Great Dane appears very skinny now, but the new owner says it has put on a lot of weight since the day it was removed from a home on 17th Ave. along with four other dogs that police said were also being neglected.  

Savannah Weaver said her ex-boyfriend, Samuel Russell, 23, was upset about their break-up, so he kept her dogs hostage inside his house.  

"I didn't want them over there after he wouldn't let me inside to see them.  Then he said he was going to hang them, and that's what really upset me," said Weaver. 

When police finally got inside the house, they said it appeared that Russell hadn't fed or cleaned up after the dogs in weeks. Weaver said there was evidence that the dogs took desperate measures to sustain themselves.  

"The toilet seat was broken and pushed over and that's why they thought maybe they were trying to get water out of the toilet," said Weaver. 

Russell is still in jail after his arrest last week. News Leader Nine visited the home on Wednesday, and found one of his friends trying to do some cleaning up.  However, that person did not want to say anything in Russell's defense on camera.  

In a separate incident that took place the next day in Columbus, police arrived at the 5th Ave. home of James Lawrence, 41, to investigate a possible break-in.   Officers found no signs of burglary, but they did notice a small brown dog chained to a tree with no shelter in 28 degree weather.   Police say the dog was so hungry, it was eating its own excrement to stay alive.  

Lawrence has since been released from jail, and News Leader Nine caught up with him.  We asked him about the allegation that he left his puppy in the freezing cold and he had no food in the house. 

"Okay well, it wasn't left outside like that" said Lawrence. "I didn't want the dog to poo on the floor or pee on the floor. You know what I'm saying? I was feeding the dog. My sister, she was helping me feed the dog. And my brother-in-law, all of them were feeding the dog."

But despite all of these different people feeding a little puppy, you can still see its ribs and backbone nearly a week after animal control seized it from the house. On Wednesday, it was still in their custody, living in a cage. Its health is being evaluated by experts.  

That puppy is now available for adoption.  As for the five dogs taken from the house on 17th Avenue, they all have new homes and are slowly returning to normal weight.

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