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Police: Dogs found emaciated, dehydrated in Clark County, owner arrested

Rhonda Raye Nicholson, 49, faces three counts of cruelty to animals. (Photo: Clark Co. Jail)

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - A Springfield woman is facing three counts of cruelty to animals after authorities say her two English bulldogs were found dehydrated and emaciated.

Rhonda Raye Nicholson, 49, appeared in court Tuesday on the charges. According to a police report, a complaint was called in back in March. An officer reported that he met with Nicholson outside her home and saw one of the animals. The officer said Nicholson then stated that the other bulldog, a female, was dead and had been buried in Troy. However, when the officer went inside the home, the female bulldog, Mya, was found.

A veterinarian treated Mya, which is an eight-year-old dog. According to a report from the veterinarian, a dog Mya's size should weigh about 50 pounds, however, she was only 27 pounds. There was no fat covering her ribs, according to the veterinarian, and the skin on her neck would stand during a "pinch test," which indicates she was dehydrated. The dog also had a large mass that was hanging from her abdomen that was bleeding.

Another veterinarian checked out the other bulldog, a male named "Naughty Boy." The veterinarian found he had hair loss on his tail, which they thought was likely due to a reaction from parasites or fleas. He was also suffering from "cherry eye," which is an inflammation of the tear gland. The veterinarian said the dog will likely suffer permanent eye damage due to the conditions.

During her court appearance Tuesday, Nicholson entered a "not guilty" plea.

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