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SORRENTO, La. (BRPROUD) – A dog owner who pleaded guilty last week in an animal cruelty case is getting their dog back.

On October 26, 2019, Opie was brought to Cara’s house when animal control received an anonymous tip of Opie’s living conditions.

When Opie arrived to Cara’s House he was described as, “was skin and bones and horribly mistreated.”

Almost a year under Cara’s House care, Opie was nursed back to good health, gaining ten pounds and now parasite free.

“He was emaciated, full of flees, his skin was an awful condition. He was actually only weighed 41 pounds,” Cara’s House president, Reagen Daniel said.

The 6 -year-old dog suffers with heart worms.

“We never dreamed that he would be allowed to go back to the owner who let him get in that condition,” Daniel said. “He is used to sleeping on a couch and now he is possibly going back to living on a chain outside.”

Ellen Hawkins of Geismar, was initially charged with ‘Cruelty to Animals’, however Hawkins pleaded guilty to ‘Owners Responsibility’ in order to receive Opie back.

“This is the first time we had to return a dog to someone who was charged with animal cruelty,” Daniel said.

Cara’s House says bulldogs like Opie are special needs dogs. Opie requires monthly heart worm prevention, allergy medication and care for his skin.

“We just feel like justice wasn’t served here,” Daniel said. “We want the best for these cat’s and dogs and when they come in from poor conditions the last thing we would ever think is they would be allowed to go back to those conditions.”

Ellen Hawkins refused to speak with BRproud on the incident.

Animal cruelty cases can be reported to locals sheriffs office or animal control here.