A Decatur mother and son pleaded guilty April 27 in State Court to five counts of animal cruelty, according to DeKalb County solicitor general spokeswoman Emily Gest.
The pleas came after their fox terrier, Blaze, was found severely emaciated with a grapefruit-size tumor on her stomach and another tumor in her mouth. The dog also suffered from periodontal disease, Gest said.
Shirley McClain, 58, was sentenced to 20 days in jail and was allowed to serve many of those days on weekends. Michael McClain, 38, was sentenced to 45 days in jail with daily release to go to work. Both must perform 200 hours of community service at the DeKalb County Sanitation Dept. and must pay $6,500 in restitution to the American Fox Terrier Rescue Inc., the organization that rescued the animal and paid for Blaze’s medical treatment.
In August 2011, a maintenance worker repairing a leak in the family’s apartment discovered Blaze locked in a bathroom, which was 83 degrees. After her rescue, Blaze endured three surgeries to remove the tumors, and infected teeth and gums. The 14-year-old dog survived her ordeal and has been adopted. When she was rescued, Blaze weighed about 10 pounds. She now weighs 18 pounds, which is a normal weight for her breed.