Reward offered for information on abused dog

Maybe Star will have better luck with her next owner. The friendly, 1-year-old German shepherd is recovering this week after a rope, used as a leash, caused severe injuries to her neck. (WARNING: Some users may find images with this story disturbing. Discretion is advised.)
Tom Jackson
Aug 8, 2012


Maybe Star will have better luck with her next owner. The friendly, 1-year-old German shepherd is recovering this week after a rope, used as a leash, caused severe injuries to her neck. (WARNING: Some users may find images with this story disturbing. Discretion is advised.)

The rope was wound so tightly it became embedded in the dog’s body.

“The dog continued to grow and the rope didn’t,” Erie County dog warden Barb Knapp said.
Veterinarians had to surgically remove the rope.

An anonymous donor is offering a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person responsible for Star’s mistreatment.

The dog’s rescue began when members of the Schill family spotted her running loose at a farm in the 5000 block of Homegardner Road.

Jerry Schill said his children, Julia, 14 and Jack, 9, asked if they could try to figure out who the owner was. The kids returned with the dog in tow.

“At first, I was going to try to cut the rope out,” Schill said. “It was just awful, the smell, the stench. I realized we couldn’t even see the rope at the bottom of the neck.”

The family put Star in a barn, where the children fed and watered her until the dog warden arrived.

As soon as she got to the scene, Knapp knew something was wrong.

“I realized I could smell rotting flesh,” she said.

She saw a blue-and-white nylon rope, much like those used by water skiers, around the dog’s neck.

“Underneath the muzzle it was totally embedded. You couldn’t even see it,” Knapp said.

Knapp took the dog to the dog pound and gave her food and water. The next day she called Firelands Animal Hospital, which often treats the shelter’s dogs.

Veterinarian Dr. Marianne Socha immediately agreed to help. The dehydrated dog was given fluids and the rope was removed in an operation.

“She’s doing great,” Socha said. “She’s in good spirits. She’s eating and drinking well.”

Socha, who is donating her services to help Star, said she plans to keep the dog for most of the week so she can make sure the bandages on Star’s big, oozing wound are changed frequently.

When Star gets back to the county dog pound, Knapp is hoping to find a foster family to take good care of her as she recovers.

“The dog is really friendly,” Knapp said. “Wags her tail, licks your face.”

Want to Help?
The Erie County Dog Pound is seeking donations to help care for Star as she recovers. Donations may be dropped off at the dog pound, 2900 Columbus Ave.



This just breaks my heart!  What a gorgeous pup!  Thank you to the Schill Family, Ms Knapp and Dr Socha!  I have a german shepherd, and he is the most wonderful dog I have ever known.  I hope this pooch finds a great home. 


 She will find a loving home. That dog has the most beautiful expressive face.


Firelands Animal Hospital is so amazing.  My poor cat had to have surgery and they took such good care of her.  They are very nice and I could tell that they cared.


I hope they catch who ever did this to Star.


What a beautiful, sweet girl! That she could still be so appreciative and docile says a great deal for HER character. Her injuries, of course, speak volumes to that of her previous owners...

I'd love a dog and this is just the kind of animal I'd be privileged to rescue. Unfortunately, I don't have a house or yard large enough to be fair to her (my cats might also have an obejction or two). I hope some other animal lover steps up and gives Star the forever home she deserves. I also hope somebody knows those who caused such harm to an innocent creature and reports them sooner rather than later. Now if only the animal cruelty laws in Ohio would get some teeth in them so they get the consequences THEY deserve!


In the lost and found section of the Sandusky Register there is this ad.  Perhaps connected to this pup perhaps not but it's worth looking into Ms. Knapp.

Lost: German Shepherd, female, Huron area 419-433-8555



She has probably been tied outside her entire short life. I agree with eriemom that she has an expressive face and her eyes do not reflect that she has given up. Beautiful dog.


 She is a beauty! I hope she finds an amazing, loving home! She looks like a sweetheart! Rescue dogs are very appreciative and I am sure she will be too :)


Perfect case for eye for an eye justice.Hopefully they find out who did this to a beautiful animal and when they do.Tie their butt up outside with a rope around their neck and leave them to die.


This just makes me want to throw up.  I hope they find who ever did this and drag them by the neck until dead.  What an awful thing to do to a dog or ANY animal for that matter. 

She is lucky she got loose.  I hope someone with a huge back yard can take her and give her the freedom to run, jump and play.  She needs a loving and gentle family to care for her.  How could anyone look into those melting brown eyes and not fall in love immediately. 

I did but I haven't the room.  I wish I did, I would be the first one in line. 


She is a beuaty, but I think  my male dog and my male cat would object to the new female in the house.

I hope they find out who did this to her! 



the rope. getting tighter and tighter...

sounds like the perfect treatment for a certain male form in the news last week.....



How do we know this is a case of abuse and not a dog who managed to get loose and has been running around as a stray for several months?  If this was abuse then the owner should be hung from a tree by a choker chain, but there is a better than average chance that this dog has been on the loose for some time and the rope  collar being imbedded in his skin is incidental to this.


I was thinking the same, that maybe the dog got loose and had been on the run for some time. However, a muzzle was mentioned in the article. I am not clear as to whether it was her nose/mouth they were referring to as it's muzzle or a muzzle that is put onto dogs to keep them from biting, barking, etc. If the dog had a muzzle on, she probably would have died from starvation or dehydration, especially in this heat, before it got to this point. I would like to believe the owner's have been missing her and will be happy to claim her.  Beautiful dog. She will be placed in a home in no time I am sure.

A nylon rope does not necessarily mean she was not treated properly. Maybe she is an inside dog that the owner put out ocassionally to do her business and she got loose. I have seen injuries from wired cables made just for restraining dogs.


Knuckle, I think the use of a nylon rope as a collar is a dead give away that this dog was not be cared for properly.

Mime Bloggling

Love, love Dr. Socha and Firelands Animal Hospital. She took care of all our furry folk before we left the area.

God bless you Dr. Socha and to the family that rescued her!

May Star find a good home and may the abuser be found out!


I have to say, she looks like a puppy we sold when she was a baby, which makes her 9 months old....not sure if they know she's 1 year old for sure or not.  I am hugely disturbed by this, especially since we told every buyer, any problems, bring them back, no questions asked, full refund. 

There is no accident on this nylon rope growing into her skin like that, that's due to much time left alone, complete neglect and the dog obviously pulling so hard to get free it eventually grew right into her skin.

I unfortunately did not keep names/addresses/phone numbers for the buyers, lesson learned I guess and will do so from now on, if I ever sell again.  it's really not feasible for me to take her back, if she was our puppy, but I certainly would make it work if there isn't an adoption right away. 

If she is anything like her siblings....she will be very lovable, smart and a little mischevious....but worth every second of a good home's time.





Please stop breeding dogs. Selling dogs is ridiculous when millions of dogs are put down every year at pounds and shelters.

Is the money really what drives breeders?

Sorry, but you are part of the problem.


I will not stop breeding dogs....I am not the problem....and I do not make any money doing's to cover the costs of the vets and first shots, etc....that's it.....that's always the easy way out, point the finger.

There are a lot of ignorant people out there....but breeding dogs isn't a's the idiots who buy them and then abuse them, that's a crime.  I have rescued many dogs and have bought many dogs and will continue to do so....there are many people like me who love them, nuture and take care of them and don't even think twice about it.  If I had a bigger place to live, I would adopt more.

Maybe educaton for some people is a solution...but don't put blame on me



rubyrock can breed if they want to. The buyers who are not knowledgeable are the problem. If they can not produce health clearances on the sire and dam, I will not buy from them. I buy gundogs that come from a good field trial pedigrees and have all health clearances. This does not ensure me a lifelong healthy dog but ups my odds and that the dog should have some drive and will hunt. I do not get that from a rescue. I have a rescue as well that was going to be put down because she was no longer wanted. She will hunt this year.

If I just wanted a companion I would go with a rescue. 


 I agree @ Bythe By...., rubyrock, you are part of the problem. If you're " not" breeding the animals for the money? Then why do you continue to do it.? There are so many animals that are in need of good homes. You said in your previous statement that it wouldn't be feasible for you to take her back, if that was the puppy you sold. And you say, you are not into the breeding for the money... yeah right. ( Lots of sarcasm here!)

 Also to the owner of this beautiful fur baby... You're probably reading this story and the responses... I hope to God they find you! What you did was absolute abuse & neglect. To bad that the state of Ohio doesn't view this as a felony. As well they should.

Thank you Dr. Maryann for volunteering your services! You are the best in the area! 


@ juzzmytake

The muzzle on a dog is their jaw and nose. They were referencing the area under the muzzle which would be her neck.

A nylon rope for a collar is mistreating them. Buy a dam adjustable collar. They can be adjusted to the neck size as the dog grows. A dog does not grow that fast for it to embed into the neck in a couple weeks or months.

Here is what I think happened. The owner tied it out and occassionally fed and watered her and then someone noticed the embedded "collar" and got rid of the dog.



 Yes, there are safe, approved collars for dogs and cats. I agree with you there. The rest we just do not know. It is obvious the cord was around her neck for some time. I am thankful she found a good family that rescued her and a great vet who treated her.


Have to agree with Rubyrock.  This is not the fault of a breeder!  This the sole fault of who owned the dog!!  Whether it was a rescue dog or a dog from a breeder, do you think whoever owned this dog would have done things differently had they gotten the dog from a shelter?  My thought is they had the dog tied, barely tended to it and one day the lead finally broke ~ off the dog went in search of a real life.  So very sad! 

To Julia and Jack ~ 2 young kids ~ that made it their mission to help this dog and made it happen ~ you guys deserve to be recognized!!  very nicely done!  To their Dad Jerry, thank you for listening to your kids and not saying "no" and simply moving on with your day because you didn't have time or didn't want to be bothered.   For Dr. Socha, thank you for living out what it is you pledged to do when you became a vet in such a giving manner.  Such compassion and selflessness is becoming an endangered quality!  My best to the Schill Family, the family that adopts Star and Dr. Socha..............God has blessed you all in a special way.


Well said ritt and I agree with your assessment except I feel she was dumped.  I think someone finally noticed the severity of the rope embedded that they dumped the dog. If they could not afford a collar I dam well ensure they could not afford the vet bill to remove. And as an animal owner how could you walk into a vets office and try to explain how the dog got in that condition?

Swamp Fox

There is NEVER justification to use a rope in lieu of a safety collar or harness.  Dogs are pack animals and  should be in the house with there pack, aka family, not tied outside alone..


It breaks my heart to hear of animals being neglected. Let this be a lesson to the public. If you see a dog or any animal for that matter, being neglected, report the owners ASAP! If your neighbors have pets, check on them periodically to make sure that they are being cared for properly. We need to put an end to this kind of abuse and neglect.


Foster???    I'll take her!!   I LOVE GS!


 SICKENING!   Stiffer animal abuse laws are in need now more than ever.  People are getting VERY sick!


 I AGREE WITH "BYTHEBY"  ALL THE WAY!    No need for breeders when there is an over abundance of homeless animals


Millions of dogs (and cats) are euthanized each year due to overpopulation, and those are the ones who are put down humanely. There is absolutely NO reason whatsoever to continue breeding. Your theory that this may be one of your pups is the perfect example of the reasons why--the breeder has no control over what happens when those dogs leave their care.

As a foster mom for a certified rescue organization, I'm the one who cleans up after breeders who think it's perfectly fine to be irresponsible with their pets' (and their offspring) lives. I've stood in a city kennel at closing time and looked in the eyes of two dogs and had to choose once one lived and which one died that day. I'm the one who cries, along with my husband and pre-teen son, each time we say good-bye to foster on the day it goes to its forever home. We’d love to keep each one that comes through, but we can’t; there are thousands more who need help…who are homeless and need to be placed. Again--those are the ones who are lucky enough to be brought in from the streets and get pulled by a rescue. The rest are left to die horrific, miserable deaths on the streets or at the hands of human monsters.

What is important now is that we fight for this dog and others who have been abused/neglected by getting involved in the push to pass Nitro’s Law. Ohio needs to step up and get current with other states in which animal abuse is a felony—we are far behind in this area. Nitro’s Law is in the important stage of trying to get passed in the Senate.

For more info and to find out how you can help, go to the web site:

Or the Facebook page:



 Everyone... Please Donate to the care of Star. Firelands Animal Hospital will take your donation for future medical care and food! This baby deserve the very best, that life has to offer.


People like this need to be put in jail and personally, I think treated the way they abused animals. If it means wrapping a rope around their neck so tight.... they can not stand it... then I support that. Absolutely NO EXCUSE AT ALL for this. Dog's are such loving loyal animals and they don't understand why their owner hurts them. I have 3 Shepherds and they are the greatest dogs ever.

Julie R.

I also think the poor thing was probably dumped several months ago ~ maybe even longer than that ~ and has been running around as a stray ever since.  When it was dumped the collar probably fit him.   

Swamp Fox

Read the article, it wasn't a collar it was a ROPE...


I love training my labs and I always say they are not my whole life they just make my life whole. Although  I refuse to have a bad day at work, when I get home and they are so amped up and want to run or train fulfills my day. Wish everyone felt that way.

he said she said


I was offered a full bred black female pup when I first moved here.  She was so adorable she melted my heart the first time I saw her.  She had pure blood lines and had papers.  I turned down the offer.  I didn't want a pup that was probably from a female that was bred every time she went into heat.

I found out where the humane society and the dog pound was and adopted both my animals.  I couldn't ask for more loving and loyal animals.

I live with a cat and a dog that is a mix of who knows.  All I know is that they both are happy to see me when I come home and I can't wait to sit down and have them in my lap.

I blame the breeder as far as not doing a better check on people she's 'selling a not-for-profit' animal to and I blame the person that did this to this poor animal. 

I hope they find this human and tie them up just the same way, only difference would be the hands tied behind their back so they can't get themself loose.



@ Julie R

I refuse to believe this dog broke free and has been a stray long enough to have the "collar" embed in it neck. This dog was dehydrated and there is the cold creek running right through that area. She would have found it if she was on the loose that long. She would dehdrate in a couple days. She was not all ribs and bones according to the story so what was she dining on? You think a domesticated dog can go into the wild and survive forever?  Stray dogs in the country are rare and when dumped they will look for people to help them such as this family came upon.

In the country a stray will be shot if someone thinks it is a coyote and this girl fits the bill for that or if she was attacking livestock someone would have shot her or reported it.

She was dumped.


I have to agree with labman ~ this dog only recently escaped. Whether it was dumped or finally broke free ~ either way, whomever had her hasn't come forward and obviously doesn't give a sh---!

As for breeders ~ this baffles me. There are breeders who are NOT responsible, but you also have tons who ARE responsible! Just as you have the store clerk that sells to a minor **irresponsibly, or the camp counselor that works with 100's of kids **responsibly or the breeder of this dog who did everything as **responsibly as they could (assuming) ~ you have the responsible and the irresponsible versions in ALL walks of life!!!

Here I go out on a wire ~ Why breed dogs? To maintain the integrity of the breed! To maintain or better the qualities of that breed or specific pedigree. Last time I went through the shelter, the mass majority of those dogs were mixed breeds. How do you end up with mixed breeds? I know of no one that "breeds" mixed breeds ~ perhaps irresponsible breeding? and then hope you can find homes for all 14 of them? Oh wait ~ then you have the "designer mutts".................So many people take a "cute little guy" home and then the poor thing grows up. All of a sudden all those cure things it did as a pup aren't so cute anymore. little Johnny no longer has an interest in him, Mom is tired of doing everything for him and off to the pound or shelter Fido goes.

I have had mixed breeds and I have papered dogs. Dearly loved/love them both. I will only breed my "papered" dog to a "qualified" female with health clearances and only if there are 4 or 5 deposits on puppies before the breeding even happens. Some say I am a snob for that. But I insist on maintaining the integrity of the line of dogs that my dog brings to the table. Am I against the "I got a lab, you've got a lab, lets make puppies and sell them"?? Yes. Why? What is that breeding doing? Is there a purpose? Other than the pups are "so darn cute"? Is the breeding going to produce a healthy dog with desire to do what that breed is known for? Or is it going to produce a dog that is going to have aggression issues? To Labman;s point, there's alot to be said about health EIC and see how you feel about that. There is nothing wrong with a breeder who breeds responsibly!!

To blame what has happened to Star on the breeder is cowardly in a sense. You don't know the breeder but blaming him/her makes it easier for you. You don't know what happened there or why. You do know however that the dog was tied/collared with a nylon rope for so long that it embedded into the dog's neck!

Again SR, I think that something needs to be done to recognize the Schill kids and their Dad. They have potentially saved this dogs life. For many others as they condemn everybody and their mother, they would have looked the other way as it was not their problem.


 To Ritt, While I agree with most of your statement. There are some points I have a different opinion on.

 I understand where your coming from, about the reasons why responsible breeders breed. I get all that .

As far as Star is concerned. YES. I hold the breeder " PARTLY" responsible. And my reasoning for this is because, she didn't know who she sold the puppy to. ( If that was her puppy at all.)

 When I adopted my GSD the rescue facilty took an application, and called the references and the vet that I provided on the Application. Same goes for a Dobie that I adopted years ago.

 My point being, if one is going to breed to keep the breeds integity. Then make sure there is a paper trail. Same goes for the buyer... . 

I have never gave away or sold my dogs, but, I can assure you, that if I ever had to ,applications would be taken, and refernces checked. And if I found anything on the references that didn't seem right, those fur- babies wouldn't be going anywhere.

I 100% agree with you, that the Schill kids and their dad, played a major part in saving Star's life. And they do deserve a story about them in the paper!!!  This would be a great human interest story.

KUDO's to the whole Schill Family.


The integrity of the breed?

Do they love you more?

Is that the integrity you speak of?

For every "integrity bred" dog bought, one in a shelter dies!

I will stick to my "mutts" and sleep well knowing I saved 2 lives!


Taxed Enough Already

Those pictures of the dog's neck make me absolutely sick.  What a beautiful animal!


This is not the first time this has happened to an animal. There are animal shows that show this kind of abuse all the time. That being said, I see nothing wrong with breeding animals. If no one bred them, then the pure blood line would die out. The reason that there are so many animals in shelters is not because of breeders, but because of irresponsible owners. If all owners would watch their animals then there would be no "strays".


Well stated ritt ! I agree with it 100%


The Vet can tell if the dog had been on the loose for "months" like some of you think. However, it would be very thin, ill, and wouldn't be friendly. People like Knuckle Dragger always have to disagree with the facts. Perfect name for him.


A person who can treat an animal like this has the capacity to do this to a person.  I have zero tolerance for people who abuse or neglect people or animals.  Zero, none.  Take the person who did this and tie a rope so very tight around his or her neck so that it cuts into his or her neck the same way.  Leave it there for as long as it was in the dogs neck.  Feed and water him or her very little so they know the feeling.  I just can't stand people who abuse or neglect.  I just can't.  They are a waste of space and air.  Like the man who killed that little boy.  Schedule a time for his release in the park downtown.  Make his release time public.  He will get what he deserves and then feed the fish with him.  I get so angry.  As a social worker I see it all the time and unless they kill these scumbags get off with a slap on the hand and not a punishment that actually fits the crime.  And it is not the lowly social wokers at social agencies that don't want to do something.  Their hands are tied by their supervisors and the prosecutors.  The system is so messed up it isn't funny.