Crime & Courts

Dog was starved for a month by vengeful ex-girlfriend, SC cops say. She’s in jail now.

A South Carolina woman starved a dog left at her home by an ex-boyfriend for over a month, authorities said.

Animal control officers in Laurens County said the dog, which is being called Champ, “had gone without food or water for at least 30 consecutive days,” Spartanburg’s WSPA reported. The woman told investigators the dog had been left at her house about a month earlier by her ex-boyfriend, the station reported.

“Investigators said James was apparently feeding her own dogs but refused to feed Champ, her ex-boyfriend’s dog because she was mad at the former boyfriend,” WYFF reported.

“She intentionally did not feed this dog. This dog was on her property. She sees the dog everyday and see his conditions are worse. She could have stepped up, contacted law enforcement, animal control, she could have put this dog on Facebook and tried to find a home for the dog. She just chose not to,” Sheriff’s Captain Chris Martin told WSPA.

“He was starved and left to die tied out in Laurens, SC,” according to a Facebook post by Rescue Dogs Rock NYC, a New York-based group that has been sharing the story of the 16-month-old mastiff mix. “He was in hell with no way to escape.”

Champ was more than 50 pounds underweight and covered in maggots, the Greenville News reported.

According to a statement posted on its website, the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office said it learned about Champ on Thursday and arrested Elizabeth Lena James on a charge of ill treatment of an animal. She was jailed on $15,000 bail, according to the post.

“Inhumane treatment of animals will not be tolerated on my watch,” Sheriff Don Reynolds said in the release. “No animal should have to go without food and water.”

Rescue Dogs Rock posted a video Friday that shows Champ scarfing down boiled chicken from a bowl.

“Champ will not eat dog food, but did eat boiled chicken which he loves!” the post said. “One of the vet techs cooks for him. Scrambled eggs are up for breakfast so we hope he will eat them!”

Because he has no body fat or muscle tone, Champ “got some comfy jammies to keep him snuggly & warm,” the group posted with the latest picture of Champ on its Justice for Champ Facebook page Friday night

“He says goodnight all & thanks for fighting for me,” the post said.

On Monday morning, Rescue Dogs Rock posted that the veterinarian’s office caring for Champ is “happy with his progress.”

Donate to Champ’s medical care via the Facebook page of Rescue Dogs Rock NYC.

Joe Marusak: 704-358-5067; @jmarusak