HUDSON — A Hudson woman who reported finding an abandoned and ailing Great Dane-mix tied outside her Lowell Road grooming parlor last week has since admitted the dog was her own, police said Wednesday.
Michelle Hogan, 44, who owns Dunk'N Dogs at 225 Lowell Road, was arrested earlier this week after turning herself in to the Hudson Police Department.
She now faces charges of animal cruelty as well as failure to license or vaccinate her pet. Hogan was released on $2,000 personal recognizance bail and is scheduled to appear in 9th Circuit Court, Nashua District Division, on Sept. 19.
Hudson Animal Control Officer Jana McMillan said Hogan called police Aug. 27 and reported the two-year old pooch, Sammie, had been left tied to the front door at Dunk'N Dogs earlier that morning.
McMillan said the case remains under active investigation, but police have since determined that Hogan is, in fact, Sammie's original owner after reaching out to local residents and business owners in the area.
"Something seemed suspicious from the get-go," McMillan said. "We immediately suspected something was strange about this whole case."
No one answered the phone at Dunk'N Dogs Wednesday afternoon, and calls made to Hogan seeking comment weren't immediately returned.
The dog, described as sweet and loving, suffers from a variety of medical issues, some quite serious, McMillan said, though she's responded well to treatment so far.
Sammie has been placed in a loving home but has an injured and infected tail and will need multiple surgeries, including an eventual surgery to remove a large growth on her abdomen, according to McMillan.
"She's doing fantastic considering all she's been through," McMillan said.
Fundraising to assist with Sammie's veterinary bills has been ongoing at America's Pets pet supply store in Hudson.
As of Wednesday afternoon, customers have donated well over $2,000 for Sammie's care, according to Kristi Griego, one of the store's owners.
"The response to all of this has been overwhelming. People are just so upset about this and they want to help however they can," said Griego, who added that many of her customers have stopped by the store shocked and saddened to learn the latest development in the canine's story. Others, having heard about the story via the Internet, have called from out of state offering to donate.
Griego said Sammie is expected to undergo surgery on her tail later this week, and it's still unknown at this time if her tumors are cancerous.
Updates on Sammie's progress will continue to be posted on America's Pets' Facebook page.
Those wishing to assist Sammie may stop by America's Pets, located at 142 Lowell Road, or call 881-9247.