HOUSTON (KTRK) --Owners of a neglected puppy are now charged with abandoning the 7-month-old chocolate lab, according to the Harris County district attorney.
Earlier this month, the abandoned chocolate lab was found and rescued by Harris County's Animal Cruelty deputies.
The dog, who has been named Bella, is at the Houston Humane Society for now. Doctors believe she is between six and ten months old. She's being treated for severe mange, malnutrition and intestinal problems.
Bella was found in a northeast Houston home, lying on a pile of soiled laundry, suffering from severe mange and intestinal issues.
Harris County Constables Office Precinct 5 confirmed Tristan Hancock, 21, and Elisha Gonzalez, 44, have been charged with animal abandonment. They have not yet been arrested.
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"They cannot reach out for help on their own," explained Deputy Charles Jantzen. "They're dependent on society to make the call on their behalf."
"It's pretty much the policy of our office, with few exceptions, to seek jail time in these cases," said Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson said.
Sherry Ferguson with the Houston Humane Society said it was initially unclear if Bella would survive, but with medications and continued treatment she is now being prepared to join a local family that's already reached out to the organization.
Authorities are encouraging the former owner to turn themselves in. Their current location is unknown, investigators said.