Staffers at the Lawrence Humane Society took turns comforting ``Lady,'' an abused German pointer, into the early-morning hours, hoping her health would turn around.
The last staffer left about 4 a.m. Monday. When workers returned about 7 a.m., Lady had died.
Struggling with pneumonia and the lingering effects of malnutrition, Lady gave up, shelter executive director Midge Grinstead said Tuesday.
``She just quit fighting,'' she said.
The staff is taking Lady's death hard, the director said. Lady had been at the shelter since July 27, when a man who had been working on a house in rural Douglas County found her and brought her to the society for care.
The shelter's veterinarian, Dr. Ron Lee of Eudora, was scheduled to examine Lady on Monday to determine the odds of her survival. Staffers had been weighing whether it would be more humane to euthanize the dog, whom Grinstead said had been bred so much her teats hung much lower than they should have.
Lady was close to dying of starvation when the shelter took her in and began feeding her three times a day and treating her for pneumonia, ticks, roundworms and hookworms. Her breathing was labored, and coughing wracked her entire body, Grinstead said.
After his first examination of Lady, Lee told staffers it appeared someone had kicked in some of the dog's teeth, Grinstead said. Her collar was embedded in her when she was found on East 1900 Road.
Lady is among the average of 40 animals a month the shelter responds to because of abuse or neglect. The Douglas County Commission recently passed a resolution allowing the shelter to place abused animals up for adoption or euthanize them after notifying the owners. Under the resolution, the owner may place a bond for the animal's care until the case goes to court, but Grinstead said she doesn't believe many owners will do that.
Grinstead said the shelter does not know who owned Lady.
-- Deb Gruver's phone message number is 832-7165. Her e-mail address is email@example.com.