Animal control finds no signs of abuse in Doberman case

Dogs appear to be in good health, officers say

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A follow-up by police and animal control regarding the reported abuse of a Doberman finds no signs of abuse or neglect, police said.

On Tuesday, Fort Lauderdale police and Broward Animal Care and Control sent officers to a home to investigate the health of a Doberman that was reported to be tethered outside and looked malnourished.

The story had gone viral and generated a tremendous amount of public outcry.

Despite the concerns of people sharing the picture on social media, police and animal control said the owner had broken no laws, but just needed to be better educated about how to care for a large dog.

On Wednesday, officers returned to the home. They found the Doberman, Duchess, untethered in the back yard.

An animal control specialist noted that Duchess was thin, but did not appear to be in poor health.

According to a news release issued Wednesday afternoon:

"The owners showed the Specialist and Detectives a tub of high quality dog food, and were educated by the Specialist on the specific nutritional needs of a Doberman breed.

"The owners also provided medical documentation from a recent visit to the Hollywood Animal Hospital. The Specialist and Detectives did not observe any external signs of abuse, worms, fleas or mange.

"A second, younger puppy, approximately eight weeks old was also present at the home. This puppy, a shepherd mix, appeared to be in good health and was well nourished. The younger puppy also displayed no signs of abuse or neglect.

"In addition, the owners accepted the Animal Control Specialist's offer to take Duchess for a free check-up by the Animal Control Veterinarian."

Several social media postings Wednesday had indicated that the dog had been removed from the owner. According to police, she had been taken to the animal control veterinarian, but later returned to the owner.

"Pending evidence of abuse, no further follow-up by the Fort Lauderdale Police Department is necessary at this time," police said. "The Department received numerous concerns from the public regarding Duchess' well-being and hopes the information being distributed satisfies any outstanding questions."

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