BURTON (WJRT) - (11/2/2017) - The only dog of three to survive after being starved and malnourished in a Genesee County home is well on the road to recovery.
"She was not to the point of no return and so she's slowly working her way back," said Lin Holmes with the Genesee County Humane Society.
Holmes and her coworkers took Cocoa in last Thursday and have been working hard nursing her back to health.
She's already gained about two or three pounds.
"We've actually done her heartworm test, we've started her on her shots," Holmes said. "She's actually getting fed small meals several times a day, because when they're in that kind of condition, you don't want to just put a big bowl of food in front of them."
Genesee County Sheriff Robert Pickell said for months Cocoa and two other dogs were kept inside a basement. One of the dogs died, so the other two ate it to survive.
The owner, Jennifer Koos, and her boyfriend, Martell Dykes, have been charged with killing or torturing an animal. Both face up to four years in prison if they are convicted.
"She was scared when she came in because, you know, who knows when the last time they had been in a vehicle, had really a lot of human contact, that kind of thing. But she has always had this sweet disposition," Holmes said.
Cocoa's bones are still prominent, but that appears to be the only indication of the abuse.
"She is an absolutely wonderful dog. It's amazing how resilient animals really and truly are. And she's a prime example of it," Holmes said.
She wishes the dogs were brought in sooner because maybe the other two could have had the same positive outcome.
"There's always something that we can do if you're not able to take care of your animals," she said. "There's always somewhere out there that you can take them that they don't have to get in the shape that these dogs were in."
Cocoa will be up for adoption once the case makes it's way through the courts.
If you'd like to help her now, you can send in donations in Cocoa's name to the Humane Society of Genesee County.
If you'd like to report a case of abuse, you're urged to call 810-744-0511 and ask for the cruelty investigator. You can ask to remain anonymous.