Neighbors scoop-up matted dog in Ham Lake, Minn., allege neglect

Dog lovers in the Twin Cities metro are raising a fuss over photos of an ungroomed and possibly neglected dog in Ham Lake, Minn., but the Animal Humane Society said it needs to fully investigate the situation before they can determine whether the dog needs to be taken away from its owner.

Sue Nelson said she picked up the dog not far from its front yard and brought it to the AHS facility in Coon Rapids.

“He's emaciated tremendously, he has matting and possible maggots in the fur under his chin,” Nelson said. “"I wasn't going to just be a witness. I was going to try and help the dog."

Nelson suspects neglect.

"We've witnessed them down at the shore looking for food,” she said. “They've eaten turtles, dead birds, whatever they can get."

The Animal Humane Society said the owner claimed her dog within 3 hours of its arrival. AHS said although the neighbors’ intentions were good, they must conduct a full investigation before they can take action.

The investigator at the Coon Rapids branch has not received any recent formal complaints against the dog owner, but these concerned women say they want to see charges filed.

"It is not against the law to not give your dog a haircut, but having a dog that is completely matted that it can't function properly and has growth, bacteria -- that's crossing a line,” said Jamie Hogie.

The Animal Humane Society does not recommend taking a dog out of its neighborhood if you know it has an owner. Instead, you should file a complaint with AHS.

Owner responds

The owner told Fox 9 her dogs are not starved and they are very loved. She said she’s been going through some personal things and that's why the dog's coat looked the way it did when that photo was taken. She already has an appointment to have the dog groomed this week.