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Starving chihuahua found in Springfield: Public asked to be 'eyes and ears'

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On the wake of a stronger and more effective animal protection legislation in Massachusetts just waiting to be signed by Governor Patrick, another egregious case of animal neglect appeared this week reported the Thomas J. O'Connor Animal Control and Adoption Center in Springfield.

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On Monday, an emaciated chihuahua was found on Massasoit Street when a report came into Animal Control that children were playing with a starving, stray dog. According to wggb.com, the dog weighed only two pounds and 12 ounces.

The organization's executive director, Pam Peebles stated when Animal Control brought the dog into their facility, veterinarian "Dr. Atkins thought she had a foreign body lodged in her intestines, but after lots of diagnostics and surgery, she is treating her as simple starvation."

The adorable little pooch has been named Sunflower.

On the organization's Facebook page, the hopeful words appeared late Friday afternoon:

"We are all rooting for Sunflower! So hard to understand how this happens, but rest assured TJO will get her all the help she needs now to grow strong and well! The past is long behind her."

There have been thousands of "likes" and several adoption offers already for Sunflower, and she is now on a controlled re-feeding program to slowly bring her up to weight.

Authorities are hoping the public can offer information as to the identity and owner of this defenseless dog. If anyone has any information, they are asked to call 413.781.1484.

If you would like to help Sunflower with her medical bills, please click here.

The passage of Massachusetts bill S2345 raises penalties for animal cruelty convictions from five to seven years and increases the maximum fine from $2,500 to $5,000. S2345 also allows a penalty of up to 10 years and/or a fine of $10,000 for repeat convictions. In addition, the bill requires veterinarians to report suspected animal abuse. And now there will be a task force organized, with experts in all fields, to comprehensively evaluate the state’s cruelty statutes to ensure continued progress.

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