Crime & Courts

Champ the dog is recovering after cops say owner’s vengeful ex-girlfriend starved him

Champ the South Carolina dog is standing and slowly walking again after being starved for 30 days.

“It’s really a miracle,” Jackie O’Sullivan, co-founder of Rescue Dogs Rock NYC, told The Charlotte Observer in a phone interview on Wednesday.

The group rescued Champ and got him veterinary care after animal control officers in Laurens County, South Carolina, said the dog “had gone without food or water for at least 30 consecutive days,” Spartanburg’s WSPA reported.

The owner’s ex-girlfriend Elizabeth James 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.

According to a statement posted on its website, the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office said it learned about Champ on Aug. 16 and arrested James on a charge of ill treatment of an animal. She was jailed on $15,000 bail, according to the post.

O’Sullivan told the Observer on Wednesday that Champ, who underwent two blood transfusions, is off his IV and is now on oral medication. He’s received physical therapy the past couple of days, she said. His muscles had wasted away, she said.

And his red blood cells “are regenerating on their own,” O’Sullivan told the Observer.

“The outpouring of support for Champ has been incredible. It’s helped raise awareness for (abused) dogs everywhere and has given people the courage to speak up.”

Already, she said, the group has rescued another abused South Carolina dog after someone alerted them after seeing media reports about Champ.

Some material in this story appeared in an Aug. 18, 2018, article by the author.

Joe Marusak: 704-358-5067; @jmarusak
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