A Wauwatosa veterinarian alerted police Saturday after a man dropped off his dog for treatment of a minor wound – but she felt the animal had been abused and neglected in a major way.
Wauwatosa police agreed. The owner, a 40-year-old Milwaukeean, was arrested when he returned to pick up the dog and was turned over to the Milwaukee Police Department's Sensitive Crimes Unit.
The dog, a 5-month-old pit bull named "Benz," was brought in Saturday morning to Wauwatosa Veterinary Clinic, 2600 Wauwatosa Ave. The owner pointed out a small lesion on the dog's tail that he said he wanted to have treated. He told the vet he wanted to breed the animal.
The veterinarian was shocked at the dog's overall condition and amazed the owner was concerned about the least of its problems – and that he could have had any expectation it was in condition to breed.
She agreed to treat the animal in order to take custody of it, and called police when the owner left it at the clinic.
She showed police officers that the dog was badly emaciated, with rib and hip bones showing prominently through its skin. It had open lesions on its lips. It was in a crouch, unable to support its weight on its lower leg joints. Its penis was discolored and bleeding.
Police asked what arrangements the vet had made with the owner, and she told them he planned to return within an hour or two to pick up the dog. Officers told her to call them immediately when he came back and to stall him until he arrived, without hinting that there was any trouble.
She did just that, and police said they were able to take the man into custody without incident. He was held for the Milwaukee Police Department because the abuse occurred in their jurisdiction.
"Benz" was turned over to Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control, and the Wauwatosa police noted that pictures were taken there of the dog's visible health problems.
John McDowell, humane officer for MADAC, said he could only confirm that the animal was being kept there and could not release any information about its condition, referring inquiries to the Milwaukee police.
Calls to the MPD Sensitive Crimes Unit had not been returned as of mid-day Wednesday.