Rome Humane Society officials say they take in at least one abused animal a month. Some who have been beaten, others neglected. But this past weekend, workers at the Humane Society say they saw one of their saddest cases yet, when an extremely emaciated dog came through their door and died from her injuries. Our Cara Thomas tells us Lainey's story and what local animal lovers are doing to make sure the abuser is brought to justice.
ONEIDA COUNTY, N.Y. --"Lainey was pure, unadulterated love with everything she was going through, she always wanted to lick your hand and cuddle in your arms," said Kim Strong, an animal behaviorist and trainer.
Abused and neglected, Lainey, an Australian shepherd mix, was found last Friday at a home on Babcock Road in Camden. She was without food, without water and was only skin and bones.
Rome Humane Society's Director Sarah Starczewski said, "You could put with one hand, your whole hand would fit finger to finger around her neck and around her stomach and waist area."
Rescued by an Oneida County Sheriff's deputy and the Camden dog control officer, officials say she was so weak she couldn't even hold up her head. People involved in Lainey's rescue believe she had been starved for months.
"He would get out of his truck every day and walk past Lainey to get into his home knowing that this dog was starving. Crying, Lainey eating stones and grass to try to survive. He was very aware of what was going on with her," said Starczewski.
They took Lainey to the veterinarian, put her on a very strict diet and provided around the clock care, but that wasn't enough. On Monday morning, Lainey died from starvation.
"It wasn't her time to go. She was forced onto the rainbow bridge because nobody cared enough to stop this man," says Strong.
The people involved in Lainey's rescue say their biggest worry is that her abuser may get away with it as animal cruelty laws aren't as simple as some may think.
Strong explains, "The laws are a part of the Department of Agriculture. They're extremely confusing and most people aren't trained in them. We don't have an Oneida County animal control officer."
Animal advocates say it's time for social change. They say animal cruelty laws aren't on the animal's side and normally these cases are pushed under the rug. So they're reaching out to local legislators hoping to change these laws for the better.
"We need to be fighting in her name. There needs to be a Lainey's Law so this never happens again," said Strong.
Officials from the Oneida County Sheriff's office say animal cruelty charges are currently pending.
A Justice for Lainey Facebook Page has been set up.