Neeko when found five months agoFive months after being rescued just hours from death, Neeko, a Belgian Malinois who weighed only 30 pound rather than the 80 he originally weighed before he was cruelly abandoned and starved, is finally able to leave the hospital.

On August 21, an Aurora Animal Care investigator found a barely breathing, severely dehydrated and malnourished, Neeko, in an abandoned home in the 1000 block of South Uvalda Street, Aurora, CO.

The second dog left in the residence wasn’t so lucky. A white German Shepherd named Nikita didn’t survive the starvation but his death did provide time for Neeko who was forced to eat Nikita’s carcass to survive.

“There was no water in any of the toilets, there was no water in any of the fish tanks, anything that was remotely resembling food or might have been food around the house had been scavenged,” said McLucas. “He fought hard; he did everything he could to find sustenance inside the house.”

After being rehabilitated at the Alameda East Veterinary Hospital, he’s nowNeeko Now well enough to be released to a foster home Thursday.

The selected foster family has another Belgian Malinois for Neeko to play with, which is good for both his physical and emotional welfare, said Cheryl Conway, with Aurora’s Animal Care Division. (The Denver Channel)

Neeko now weighs about 63 pounds and shows no signs of his past ordeal except a tendency to walk in circles when he’s startled or not sure about what’s going on around him.

“It’s like caged-lion syndrome,” said Dr. Barbara McLucas, a veterinarian at the Alameda East Veterinary Hospital who has cared for Neeko.

McLucas described Neeko as a very friendly dog who is almost fully recovered and coping well.

“He does not appear to have any behavioral issues” associated with “his previous treatment,” McLucas said.

Kristy Knecht, owner of the dogs and the woman who cruelly abandoned them to such a hellish fate was arrested and charged with two felony counts of aggravated cruelty to animals. The Class 6 felonies carry a penalty ranging from one year to 18 months for each count plus up to $100,000 in fines on each count.

Neeko’s recovery was a long road uphill including physical therapy since his body was so severely wasted away but with the constant and intense effort of doctors, nurses and therapists, he’s made an amazing recovery so far.

It could be another year before his court case is resolved. In the meantime, the Aurora Animal Care Division will continue to pay for Neeko’s veterinary bills, follow up visits with the physical therapist and nutritionist and for food and other essential items.

Donations on Neeko’s behalf are being accepted. Donations can be mailed to:
The Aurora Animal Shelter
Attn: Veterinary Care
15750 E. 32nd Avenue
Aurora, CO 80011-1518

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