Sandra Harrison of the Auglaize County Humane Society doesn't know the original name of a dog in her care, so she named the chihuahua Viva-- or long live. That's because the little fighter was able to survive for more than six weeks this summer in a home with no air conditioning and no one to care for her.
"You know, it's a mystery how she survived and the others didn't," said Harrison.
Three or four other dogs inside a home on Logan Street in Wapakoneta died. Harrison says the exact number is unclear because of how badly the bodies of the other dogs had decomposed.
The Wapakoneta Police Department was called to Deb Morgan's home on August 15th after neighbors hadn't seen her in a while. Police found the dogs and unsanitary living conditions but not Morgan. They later learned she was in the hospital. However, it is still unclear if Morgan had tried to make arrangements for the dog's care.
"We're still awaiting the homeowner to recover significantly enough for us to interview her. We're basically at a standstill," said Chief Russ Hunlock, Wapakoneta Police Department.
Hunlock says some people officers interviewed thought Morgan's children were watching the dogs. However, Harrison wishes neighbors had become concerned for her welfare and the dog's welfare earlier.
"There is help. The humane society will help you," said Harrison.
She says the humane society has temporarily taken care of pets when people have gone to the hospital or to a nursing home.
However, since that didn't happen, the Auglaize County Dog Warden and the police are still contemplating animal cruelty charges.
For now, Viva has gained two and a half pounds in two weeks and ulcerations on her eyes are improving.
Harrison says she is a little shy, but in time, Viva will be adopted to a caring family.