The Windsor/Essex County Humane Society has charged a Belle River man with animal cruelty after an emaciated puppy was surrendered to the shelter.

Cruelty investigators visited the address to check on the welfare of the puppy and were told that the puppy has nipped the man’s child and therefore he was trying to find another home for him.

When the 7-month-old mixed breed puppy, now named Reno, arrived at the humane society, he weighed 16 pounds. Within five days he had gained more than five pounds, or 35 per cent of his body weight.

Humane society veterinary staff say they found found no medical reason for Reno’s condition other than lack of food.

The puppy’s owner was charged under the Ontario SPCA Act with one count of permitting distress to an animal and one count of failing to comply with prescribed standards of care for an animal.

He is scheduled to make his first court appearance on March 23 at 9:00 a.m.

Reno is still recovering from his ordeal, but the shelter expects him to make a full recovery. Once he has recovered, he will be made available for adoption.