Ann Arbor, MI (January 18, 2016) –  Three-year old Brownie, a chocolate-colored standard Poodle, was surrendered to the Humane Society of Huron Valley (HSHV) in June 2015. Visibly emaciated and unable to stand, the 22 lb. dog had allegedly eaten a sock weeks prior. The dog’s owners admitted they had not sought medical treatment, and were surrendering the dog because they could not afford a visit to the veterinarian.

According to the dog’s Ann Arbor family, Brownie had not eaten for weeks, save for the sock. HSHV attempted emergency surgery to remove the obstruction, but the dog’s condition was too frail and the perforation of her organs too severe for her to survive treatment.

Having recently received the necropsy results indicating significant and extended starvation, Cruelty Investigators at HSHV will be seeking charges on neglect and failure to provide veterinary care.

“It’s a shame,” says HSHV’s Cruelty and Rescue Manager Michele Baxter. “They’d seen a vet in the past and clearly cared about Brownie at one point. But when Brownie came to us, her bones were protruding from her skin. She had zero fat on her shivering little body. Brownie was so uncomfortable, she couldn’t even sit on a blanket.”

“We want to help,” Baxter says, “but people need to reach out to us before it gets to this point.”

“We hope by bringing this case to the public’s attention, it will serve as a reminder of the importance of seeking medical treatment—which is the law—and that HSHV can provide emergency assistance in cases such as this,” says Tanya Hilgendorf, HSHV’s President and CEO.  “We know people fall on hard times that can’t be predicted, and we want to help. But we also see people who acquire animals who are not properly educated on the long-term commitment they are making.  Pets add so much to our lives but they also come with challenges that we need to be ready to meet.”

The owners stated Brownie, an AKC-registered poodle, was “devoted and loving.” They indicated she knew how to sit and stay, and that she “begged for people food.”

Community members seeking affordable veterinary care can contact HSHV’s Veterinary Clinic – 734-662-4365 or To contribute to HSHV’s Medical Hardship Fund to help in instances such as this, please go to


About the Humane Society of Huron Valley

The Humane Society of Huron Valley, located in Ann Arbor, is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and relies solely on the generosity of our supporters to provide critical community programs and services. HSHV is an award-winning organization, recognized for our best practices and highest animal “save-rate” among all similar shelters in Michigan. Charity Navigator, the nation’s top charity evaluator, awarded HSHV a 4-star ranking, the highest possible. The mission of HSHV is to promote the loving, responsible care of all animals in our community. HSHV is not affiliated with any other humane organization and does not receive funding from the United Way. More information can be found on HSHV’s website ( and on our annual report (