Poster dog for unattended tethering ordinance needs an angel

- Duke needs a break. He has been living at Hernando County Animal Services for more than a year after being rescued from horrific conditions.

The bulky, older dog, who eventually became the poster dog for Hernando County's tethering law, was taken away from his owner more than a year ago. He has been up for adoption ever since. But there have been no takers so far.

"We're looking for that special someone who has that connection to him who is looking to bring a more mature  dog into their  home, and give him that life he has always deserved," Shannon Finch, the shelter coordinator.

When they found him, Duke was tied to a mobile home without water or food. He had lost all the hair around his neck because his collar was too tight. The hair on his back was sparse because of a skin condition. He was a mess.

When Duke's story got out, people were outraged. A few months ago, Hernando County Commissioners unanimously voted for an anti-tethering law . It prohibits people from tying up a dog and leaving.

Several people have looked at Duke, but no one has given him a forever home yet.

"I think it is going to be joyous, more joyous than sad because living in a kennel is no life for him," said Dr. Julie Rosenberger, the veterinarian who runs the shelter.

Since he is older,  the shelter says a family with kids may be too much excitement for Duke.  An older owner who has time to take care of  him may be a much better placement.

You can meet Duke this Saturday at the Dog Days of Summer, which is being held at the YMCA in Spring Hill from 9 to 11 a.m.

If he doesn't get adopted, you can check him out at Hernando County Animal Services.

For more information, call (352) 796-5062.

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