'The most emaciated dog I have seen in my career'; $5,000 reward offered in animal cruelty case

SEATTLE -- It’s one of the worst cases of animal cruelty the Seattle Animal Shelter has ever seen. Now they’re hoping a $5,000 reward will help them figure out who left a starving dog out in the cold at a construction site.

The staff at the shelter has started calling the dog ‘Decker.’

He looks healthy and normal -- until you see Decker from the back.

“Everything about him is bone, there’s no muscle, there’s no fat,” says Ann Graves, the shelter’s manager of field services. “When I first saw him, I was amazed he was still standing. He is the most emaciated dog that I have seen in my career that was still alive.”

Decker was found last Friday on a third-story balcony deck at a construction site on 14th Avenue South and Judkins.

Matt Haight, who works for Dep Homes, says there’s no way the dog could have wandered there on its own.

“It’s a sliding glass door to the balcony, the dog wouldn’t be able to open it or close it.”

Haight doesn’t know how long the dog had been on the balcony. Temperatures were below freezing at night.

“It was lying down, kind of shivering in a corner. It took me a few seconds to see that it was shivering and there was some movement there.”

A dog owner, Haight can’t understand why this happened.

“It’s completely unjustified, the dog didn’t deserve to be treated that way. They went out of their way to leave it on our site. Really, it’s criminal in my mind.”

Shelter employees agree. They’re offering a $5,000 reward to find who’s responsible for this act of animal cruelty.

“If somebody didn’t want him or couldn’t have him, we are a phone call away,” says Graves. “We think he deserves some answers as to what happened and why.”

If you recognize Decker or could help the investigation in any way, you’re asked to call the Seattle Animal Shelter at 206-386-4288. The case number is 14-23782.

They are focused on the investigation and helping Decker recover right now. But if he does need a new home in the future, Dep Homes says they will help pay for his adoption fees.