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Malnourished dogs' owner located; animals surrendered

Published On: Apr 25 2013 08:40:16 PM CDT   Updated On: Apr 27 2013 03:33:21 PM CDT

A spokeswoman for the city utility said the elderly owner of a home where two dogs were found neglected and malnourished was located.

In a statement Friday, Amy Barrilleaux with the Madison Water Utility said utility and home inspection officials met with the woman at the house Friday. According to a news release, the woman has been living elsewhere and the home is in foreclosure.

The spokeswoman said the woman surrendered the animals to the humane society.

According to a release sent Thursday, two dogs were rescued from a vacant home on Madison's east side after city utility staff heard barks coming from inside.

The Madison Water Utility said the house had been causing safety concerns for nearly a year after multiple notices from building inspection to repair a damaged roof and letters from Water Utility about new meter installation were ignored.

According to the department, water to the home was disconnected Tuesday, allowing police to gain a warrant to enter the home. A report from utility officials said the inside of the home suggested no had lived there for some time. Police found two malnourished dogs, a pit bull and a Maltese. A space heater had also been left on, officials said.

Mayor Paul Soglin said he applauded those who called police but called for more neighborly action.

"I am grateful to the caring and watchful eye of city employees both in Water Utility and Building Inspection," Soglin said in a news release. "Fortunately there wasn't a fire or other tragedy at this home, but perhaps the neglect could have been flagged earlier by someone who lived in the neighborhood."

The dogs were taken to the Dane County Humane Society and Barrilleaux said the woman has since surrendered the animals to authorities.

The report did not identify the woman.

  • PHOTOS: Madison store helps collect hundreds of Teddy bears for police

    MADISON, Wis.--A west Madison store is part of an effort to collect hundreds of stuffed animals to donate to six police departments in Southern Wisconsin.

    Todd Merryfield, owner of The Learning Shop at 714 S. Gammon Road, said the store is collecting the bears for officers who use them to help comfort children with whom police come in contact.

    "This is a great way to support what (police) do," Merryfield said. "Those are the kids that need something like this to reassure them, calm them down, and let them know that things are all right."

    Nearly 500 plush animals were donated Tuesday, a Learning Shop spokeswoman said. The Madison store's effort is part of a larger initiative through the Bears for Humanity organization. 

    Photos by Doug Wahl

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