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Dog Nearly Starved To Death Recovers While Former Owner Arrested

A California woman is facing 14 felony counts of animal cruelty after deliberately starving her dog for months, leaving the canine in near-fatal condition.

Volunteers from animal charity Rescue From The Hart discovered the dying dog as her organs were beginning to shut down, the Daily Mail reports.

A video documenting Angel's recovery shows the dog lying in blankets with protruding ribs and legs so weak she cannot stand.

Volunteers were unable to feed the dog for fear too much food would kill her. They were worried she would never get better -- until she unexpectedly began walking by herself.

By the end of the clip, Angel is happily playing in her new home.

"Watch til the very end for the surprise happy ending we have all been waiting for!!!!" the charity wrote on Facebook, according to the Daily Mail. "Angel's rescue video is finally ready! It's taken almost a year to make and in truth, her full recovery took just as long. This is by far the most important rescue story Rescue From The Hart has shared to date."

However, while Angel's story ends well, many rescue animals from similar backgrounds do not share the same fate.

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, approximately 7.6 million animals enter animal shelters all over the U.S. every year for a variety of reasons, including abuse. Of those, about one-third is euthanized each year.

Pet abuse is not just an animal cruelty issue either. Abuse against pets is often linked with violence against humans.

According to The Humane Society, abuse of pets is a predictor of domestic violence. Researchers note that between 71 and 83 percent of women entering domestic violence shelters reported their abusers killed or hurt their pets.

Pet abuse is linked to other crimes as well, from drug abuse to property crime.

"Animal cruelty often reveals a contempt for life in general," psychologist David Adams wrote in a Huffington Post blog.

Sources: Daily MailAmerican Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to AnimalsThe Humane SocietyThe Huffington Post / Photo credit: Rescue From The Hart via Daily Mail

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