BOYCEVILLE, Wis. — A severely malnourished dog is gaining weight and energy after being found by sheriff’s deputies in western Wisconsin earlier this month. Meanwhile, authorities say they have made an arrest in the apparent case of animal neglect.

According to the Dunn County Humane Society, the dog is now up to 44 pounds after adding about 20 since being brought to the shelter on Nov. 1.

The Dunn County Sheriff’s Office found the extremely emaciated dog in a rural area in the town of Sherman.

Authorities had been investigating the matter as a possible case of animal neglect, and on Tuesday, Nov. 12, an arrest was reported.

According to a joint statement by the Humane Society and police in the Dunn County village of Boyceville, the suspect was arrested late Monday for not providing food and drink to an animal and intentional mistreatment of an animal resulting in disfigurement, which is a felony.

The Dunn County Humane Society in western Wisconsin has been treating this severely malnourished dog since it was discovered by law enforcement on Nov. 1, 2019. The shelter’s staff named the young male dog Gabriel — after the biblical angel. Photo: Dunn County Humane Society
The Dunn County Humane Society in western Wisconsin has been treating this severely malnourished dog since it was discovered by law enforcement on Nov. 1, 2019. The shelter’s staff named the young male dog Gabriel — after the biblical angel. Photo: Dunn County Humane Society

The statement said the case has been referred to the Dunn County district attorney’s office for prosecution.

A Boyceville police report said the suspect, identified as Anne Marie Lehl, 29, first claimed she found the dog as a stray. But police determined that she owned the dog and kept it in her Boyceville home. She told police that she provided the dog daily care.

The Humane Society staff estimates the mixed-breed, not-neutered male is 2 years old. He was subsequently named “Gabriel” — after the biblical angel — and his plight was publicized by the shelter, which received more than $4,000 in donations for his veterinary care.

In a Tuesday update on its Facebook page, the Humane Society posted a video to Facebook and said Gabriel is doing well.



“His playful personality has the staff laughing at his antics ... such a fun-loving goofball.”

When he was first brought to the shelter, the staff said the dog could barely stand and, at 23.5 pounds, weighed only about 40 percent of the normal weight for his size.

Offers to adopt Gabriel have poured in, but the Humane Society said he won’t be ready for that process for a while. In the meantime, the shelter said it would continue to update his progress on its Facebook page.