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's picture
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.