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Woman, 19, charged with animal cruelty in Boynton Beach after dog found 'suffering from starvation'

Dog had hookworms, only weighed 14 pounds
Elizabeth Ebben
Posted at 1:08 PM, Apr 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-13 13:21:00-04

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. — The Boynton Beach Police Department said Monday a 19-year-old woman faces charges after her dog was neglected and found weighing only 14 pounds.

Police said they responded to a home located in the 1200 block Piazza Antinori on Jan. 11 at the request of Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control.

The police report stated that a man told authorities that he had not seen his roommate, identified as Elizabeth Rebecca Ebben, for three weeks and just discovered her dog was inside her room.

The roommate told Animal Care and Control the dog was confined in its own waste and was “nothing but skin and bones.”

An animal care officer responded to the home and found the dog lying on a bed without food or water and had multiple bones showing.

Authorities took the dog, described as a friendly 9-month-old pit bull mix, to Animal Care and Control where it was provided food and care.

A veterinarian also discovered the animal had hookworms, muscle loss and was “suffering from starvation.”

On Jan. 15, an animal care investigator was finally able to reach Ebben, who later arrived at the Boynton Beach police station for questioning.

According to the police report, Ebben told authorities she acquired the dog from a person in Orlando about four months ago via a Facebook posting.

She told police that at first she provided care to the puppy but began spending nights with friends at various locations and only returned home every other day to take care of the dog.

Police said she routinely failed to return home to care for the animal and was "ashamed and embarrassed" by her actions.

The dog, named Buddy, was nursed back to health by Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control and then transferred to the Peggy Adams Rescue League, where it was adopted on Feb. 3.

Ebben, who has an address of Little Chute, Wisconsin, according to Palm Beach County Jail records, faces charges of felony cruelty to animals and unlawful confinement of animals/animal abandonment.