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Abandoned dog found tied to fire hydrant outside humane society in Geneseo

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GENESEO, Illinois --  Police say they have identified the woman who left a dog tied to a fire hydrant in front of the Henry County Humane Society.

Melissa Ahrens, 40, was charged with Animal Cruelty after abandoning her dog, Candy.

The abandoned dog was found Monday morning, October 29, according to a Facebook post from the humane society. Tracy Diehl, shelter manager, said the person who provides their cleaning services found the dog.

"She is a sweet girl with a skin condition," reads the post.

They have named her Hope and took her to the vet for a check. Diehl said she is an older dog with a severe case of fleas and dental problems.

"It is not only illegal, it's immoral," Diehl said. The shelter asks that people call and come during business hours if there is an emergent situation, like Hope's case.

Illinois law prohibits people from abandoning their pets. Diehl said there is a $500 fine for animal abandonment. It is considered cruel treatment under the Humane Care for Animals Act.  Cruel treatment is considered a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by a prison sentence under one year and up to a $2,500 fine, according to

Police say they were provided information by the public that lead to the charge.

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