Investigators: Criminal charges coming after puppy beaten, burned

MONROE, OH (FOX19) - A puppy that rescuers believe was thrown, beaten, and burned is now starting down the long road to recovery. Meanwhile, investigators are preparing to slap the owner with criminal charges.

Joseph's Legacy rescuers say the four- to five-month-old lab mix named Valhalla is already a fighter based on her haunting past.

"You're kind of just numb when you hear the story," said Judy Reinhart, with Joseph's Legacy.

Investigators believe the puppy's former owner, a 19-year-old who lives in Middletown, threw her down the stairs and then beat her, repeatedly, with a flashlight because she peed in his room.

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"Disturbing for her, just trying to imagine what she went through," Reinhart said.

A relative of the accused reportedly tried to save the puppy on her own, but after realizing the injuries were far too significant, she reached out to the rescue for a helping hand.

Monroe Family Pet Hospital staff members found Valhalla had several broken bones, including her pelvis and a leg, and cigarette burns on her ears and head.

"The cigarette burns are old, so obviously this baby has been abused for quite awhile, and that's disturbing in all kinds of ways," said Robin Rook with Joseph's Legacy.

The puppy had surgery late Monday night and had a pin placed in her leg. Medical staff members expect her pelvis will heal on its own. Rescuers said her recovery is heading in the right direction, though her future may consist of many vet visits.

"We were really surprised they were able to save the leg," Rook said.

The case will likely turn criminal. The Butler County Dog Warden said Wednesday that charges are coming any day now.

Valhalla is currently living with a foster who is also a vet tech and can help with medical issues.

Joseph's Legacy is taking donations to pay for Valhalla's care and other animals they rescue. So far, rescuers said the community support has been overwhelming. There is a YouCaring fundraising page focused on Valhalla's recovery.

Eventually, Valhalla should be up for adoption.

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