A whole lot of people on social media, along with readers of the Rhino Times, can rest easier now that a badly emaciated dog that was constantly seen with the owner in and around Friendly Center is in the hands of Guilford County Animal Services.

The dog was the focus of a recent Facebook post in which the poster and many commenters who had also seen the dog expressed concern that the owner was starving the dog to death.

Many of those who posted their views on Facebook and who commented on a Rhino Times story about the situation said they hoped the police or Animal Services did more than cite the owner, since the dog was in obvious distress.  One Facebook poster said she had witnessed the owner even taunting the hungry dog with food just to cruelly take it away.

The dog can be seen in a well-fed state in the picture above, which was taken before the owner in question got control of the animal.  Pictures taken after the owner took the dog showed a much different looking animal – one that was essentially skin and bones.

Guilford County Animal Services Director Jorge Ortega informed the Rhino Times on Wednesday, Nov. 17 that the dog was now in the hands of the county.

“The dog is currently here at the resource center,” Ortega wrote in an email, referring to the nice new animal shelter the county opened in 2021.

Animal Services, with pets, is a lot like Guilford County Socials Services is with children: The first choice is always to keep them with the family but, in some instances, there’s really no other choice but to take the animal from the owner or the kids from the parents.

Ortega said that his department prefers not to split up animals from their owners.

“We focus on keeping pets and people together,” he stated.