Sullivan County

Rescue group claims area shelter had malnourished dog

Shelter dog

SULLIVAN COUNTY, Tenn. - Sara Sullivan says her new dog Tinsley is knocking on death's door. "She's finally moving around, we bought her a bed and blanket and she'll lay there for 5 hours," she says.

Sullivan tells us she works with Pinsch of Heaven Doberman Rescue and works to find dogs homes and remove them from places where they aren't being taken care of.

She says Tinsley was in the SBK shelter in Blountville, and while Sullivan was there looking at other animals, said she noticed Tinsley right away because of her weight.

Sullivan says she was concerned for the dog and returned a week later to take the dog into rescue and says she found her in worse condition than before. "She was still thin, she wasn't big, but she didn't have this much muscle missing from her," says Sullivan.

I spoke to a representative for the shelter who would not go on camera. She said they received the dog in much worse condition than what Sullivan found it and were trying their best to help the dog by giving her more food to bring her back to health.

We went looking for answers about malnutrition in animals and spoke to Veterinarian Andy Cherry, who told me it could take weeks for an animal to get back to its normal weight depending on its condition. "There also could be underlying diseases that could affect their ability to absorb protein," said Cherry.

Sullivan says she's not blaming the shelter, but just wants to raise awareness. "I'm not angry with them, I know many of them don't have enough funding," said Sullivan.

She just wishes her organization would have been called sooner. "Had we been contacted three weeks prior we could have gotten her out of the shelter and into a vet at a quicker rate," said Sullivan.

Tinsley is currently under a vet's care suffering from pneumonia, and parasites. Sullivan says they believe they can save her.

If you would like to know how you can help Tinsley or other dogs with the Pinsch of Heaven Doberman Rescue, click here.

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