Cedar Rapids puppy on long road to recovery after abuse case, organizations highlight need to report

Published: Apr. 13, 2021 at 6:19 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Kimble, the puppy in a recent Cedar Rapids abuse case, has a long road to recovery.

Police arrested a 22-year-old last week, saying he broke the dog’s bones when he threw the dog to the ground and kicked him.

“This was a very violent act, and this puppy was severely injured,” Jan Ecreg, the medical coordinator at Critter Crusaders in Cedar Rapids, said. ″We received a phone call on Kimble on the morning of April 1st. A lady that had the puppy, and the puppy was injured.”

Ecreg said they are seeing more of these cases. As for the cause, it’s hard to determine.

“The problem has always been the reporting of these cases the follow up through law enforcement and the adjudication of the courts. So right now, we have besides Kimble about two other animals that have been abused. Both without major reports and both without charges,” Ecreg said.

Ronald Schlabs, the program manager for Cedar Rapids Animal Care and Control, said it has been a while since they’ve seen a severe case like Kimble’s. But, he said that they see a variety of circumstances at their shelter.

“We still get routine calls of people checking on animal welfare. They are concerned their dog doesn’t have proper food or vet care. We do get abuse calls,” Schlabs said.

Shelters like Dogs Forever, who are helping with Kimble’s care, said they are seeing an influx in animals due to the pandemic.

“We have seen a lot of relinquishes lately, and some of them are due to people being home and getting dogs and then deciding they don’t have time for them,” Linda Reynolds, a volunteer at the shelter, said.

When it comes to suspected abuse, they said it’s important people report, but Ecreg said she knows not everywhere has the resources.

“There’s so many small towns and municipalities in Iowa, what resources do they have to process something like this, how does this adjudicated in unincorporated areas,” Ecreg said.

Despite these issues though, she’s hoping Kimble can bring to light the bigger problem, on his long road to recovery.

“He’s very happy and not affected by this other than the pain he has gone through for his surgeries,” Ecreg said. ”But there are 12 and 14-year-old large black labs that have been kicked and abused and lived life on the end of a chain. These animals matter too and darling little Kimble has gathered a lot of attention, but people really need to focus on the animals that aren’t as cute, aren’t as pretty, but have suffered so much at the hands of people.”

Kimble has gotten an overwhelming amount of people looking to adopt him, but Ecreg said he has a long way to go before he can be considered for adoption. Right now, they have stopped taking in any more applications for Kimble.

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