When 8-year-old Neapolitan Mastiff Zoey was diagnosed in April with inoperable terminal kidney failure, her guardians, Roni and Elysia Amiel, made the difficult decision to keep her home to be surrounded by love and family in her final days.
Zoey’s physical condition worsened rapidly and she lost a considerable amount of weight.
When a neighbour saw Zoey resting in the grass next to a lake near the Amiel’s house in June, the neighbour photographed her and called police, who dispatched animal control.
Upon finding the emaciated and weak Zoey with no collar or tags, the animal control officer took her to a local animal hospital for assessment and treatment.
Devastatingly, the neighbour was unaware of who owned the dog, and Zoey was euthanized due to her poor health.
In the meantime, the photo of Zoey went viral online, and the Amiels are still enduring threats and harassment from hundreds of people who wrongly assume they’d neglected their dog.
They’re suffering from stress and fear over this treatment.
The animal control officer, after an investigation with the ASPCA, determined no abuse on the part of the Amiels. Sparta Police Sgt. John-Paul Beebe and vet records confirmed there were no medical options to save Zoey’s life.
A statement was issued from the police department yesterday in an effort to clear the Amiels of any wrongdoing:
“The Sparta Police Department has issued this news release as one means to correct a total misrepresentation of the circumstances surrounding the physical condition of this dog. This misrepresentation has led to the Amiel family being victimized, harassed and threatened by hundreds if not thousands of social network subscribers.”
A terrible misunderstanding took the life of this dog, robbed her family of a proper goodbye, and caused unjust harassment and threats against them.
The Department’s Detective Bureau is deciding if criminal harassment charges should be filed.
Our deepest condolences to the Amiels for losing their beloved Zoey. Word travels fast about abuse, and we’re hoping the truth of their innocence travels just as quickly.