Woman accused of starving dog, bringing it back to shelter

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A woman who brought an emaciated stray dog to Sarasota County Animal Services now faces charges because the dog turned out to be hers. 

Sarasota County deputies said Alexandria Drew brought the border collie mix to the shelter for help. But when animal services workers scanned it for a microchip, they were surprised to find out the dog was registered to Drew. 

Drew apparently adopted the dog, named Richter, six months ago from the Humane Society of Sarasota. 

She now tells deputies she kept the dog in a crate while she was at work, but was working so much, she was unable to feed the pup or take it to a vet. 

Animal services said she could have surrendered the dog back to the Humane Society, but she told deputies she couldn't afford the $30 dollar fee.

She came up with the lie because she didn't want to get in trouble.

"It was very thin. You could see the outline of the rib cage, you could see the bones protruding from it's back. It was in bad shape," said Lt. Daniel Tutko. "She continued to try and put blame on someone else, as to why the dog was in the shape that it was."

When first adopted, Richter weighed 25 pounds. Six months later, he was down to 20 pounds.

"If it was left a little longer, the result wouldn't have been good. It probably would have died," he said.

Deputies said they also unraveled her story about being too caught up at work to care for the dog.  

"She was off on Wednesdays. Where she adopted the dog from actually gave away free food to those who couldn't afford it on Wednesdays,"  Lt. Tutko said.

Richter is now regaining strength at the Humane Society. He is in quarantine and will be ready for adoption within a few weeks.

"Whe looked at the dog, the dog's spirits where there. It was a happy dog. It just needed that food," said Lt. Tutko.

Drew was arrested and charged with cruelty to animals and confinement without sufficient food. She has since bonded out of jail on a $1,000 bond.