Thanks to an anonymous tip, a German Shepherd who was chained to a tree for four excruciating years was finally rescued this week in Middletown, Ohio.


The German Shepherd was originally called Toby but received a new name, Joseph, upon his rescue—a name that pays homage to the biblical figure who was left for dead but later became an Egyptian ruler, reports RYOT.

Joseph was found severely emancipated and covered in ticks and fleas by Middletown police. According to, when the police inquired about the dog’s conditions, his owner, Jeremy Temple responded by saying “the dog is not human.”

With a response like that, police should take note—a lack of empathy could indicate that a similar incident may occur again, or worse.

At half his normal weight, which should have been around 100 pounds, Joseph was released to the Progressive Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) and taken to the West Chester Veterinary Center for immediate care.


“He was literally a skeleton,” said Kassie Jadin, PAWS facility manager to “He has a lot of health issues and it is going to be a very long-term battle. It is going to be a really expensive bill and being a nonprofit, we rely on donations.”

Joseph arrived at PAWS suffering from starvation, flea and tick infection, heart worm and wounds from physical beatings. Rescuers believe he tried his best to survive by eating rotten fallen apples from the tree he was chained to, reports

Despite his poor condition, Joseph is thankfully expected to make a full recovery.

“He’s feeling a little better now, a little more perky,” West Chester veterinary clinic manager Michael Gigis said to the Denver Channel.


So why wasn’t Joseph’s abuse alerted to police or local shelter before? Apparently Temple convinced his neighbors that the dog was ill, not mistreated. A family member of Temple’s even got a next-door-neighbor to write a note saying that they never saw anyone mistreat the dog, reports the Denver Channel.

Joseph is now is good hands though, so Temple will no longer be able to hurt him. But even though Joseph’s rescue is a happy one, justice doesn’t feel as if it has been fully served as Temple was released from jail with just a $25 fine, an amount which will not help deter any such abuse in the future. Hopefully when Temple is due back in court for a pre-trial hearing on October 14 at 9 a.m. something more fitting can done.


As for Joseph, once he is fully recovered he will be put up for adoption and patiently wait to be placed in his long-deserved forever home.

Donations are currently being accepted for Joseph’s care by mail at PAWS, P.O. Box 684, Middletown, Ohio 45042 and online at

Image source: West Chester Veterinary Center Facebook Page