PHOENIX -- It's a happy ending to the story of Ryder the pit bull, who was discovered hanging from a doorknob in September.
Ryder weighed just 28 pounds when Phoenix police found her while responding to a domestic violence call.
“During the initial investigation officers noticed a severely emaciated … dog attached to the door knob of one of the bedrooms with a very large, linked chain as a collar and leash combination,” Phoenix police Officer James Holmes said in a news release. “The chain had been applied so tightly only the dog's hind feet could touch the floor.”
Ryder had been neglected and starved, and her condition was so serious that vets were not sure she would survive.
Police arrested Corina Martinez, 28, on one count of animal cruelty, which is a class 6 felony in Arizona. She denied being Ryder's owner, but investigators determined that she was the primary person responsible for the dog's care.
After Ryder's story went public, the dog's actual owner contacted the Arizona Humane Society and revealed that Ryder had been taken by a person known to her. She said she was expecting the pet to be returned. But the police investigation showed a third person, Martinez, had taken Ryder.
Phoenix police detectives were able to establish ownership based on photos and have been working with the owner as the abuse case moves forward for prosecution.
And just last week, after weeks of care and well wishes from hundreds, Ryder was reunited with her owner. According to AHS, she was horrified by the abuse that Ryder suffered and was eager to have her home once again. It was an emotional day for everyone who's been involved in the case.
The investigation into the animal cruelty case is continuing.