Investigators close case on emaciated German shepherd

Bartholomew County Sheriff’s deputies have determined that an underweight and sick German shepherd rescued from a Columbus home did not die from any malice from its owners.

Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Deputy Jason Williams began investigating the death of 2-year-old German shepherd named Riley, who had been surrendered to a rescue in Quincy.

The owner of the rescue had filed a complaint that Riley was severely underweight and suffered from whipworms and Coccidian. Deputies said Williams interviewed several people who were involved in Riley’s car and determined that Riley had multiple owners.

Two veterinary offices confirmed they treated the dog for whipworms and Coccidian. Whipworms are intestinal parasites which cause severe irritation to the lining of the cecum and colon in dogs, which results in severe weight loss, the sheriff’s department said. A Coccidian infection can cause diarrhea and can be fatal, even though many dogs show no symptoms, the investigation revealed.

Sheriff Matt Myers said after the interviews and verifying the illnesses with the veterinarians, Williams did not find any probable cause to make a criminal case.

For more on this story, see Thursday’s Republic.

Author photo
Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at or (812) 379-5631.