Michigan puppy poised to make rare court appearance in abuse case

Posted at 11:53 AM, Oct 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-24 12:16:40-04

Rumble the dog was left for dead, but months later he’s recovering and prepping for a peculiar situation: giving a victim impact statement inside a courtroom.

Rumble is a pint-sized pup tipping the scales at a mere 8.2 pounds, but his rescue group Canine Companions Rescue Center believe he should be 30-40 pounds. 

The dog suffered brain damage causing a range of problems including blindness, issues regulating his body temperature and not knowing when to eat/drink. Rumble even has an issue with his pituitary gland which has stunted his growth.

“When we found him he was barely conscious,” explained Trisha Plovie.

Plovie is one of the people behind Canine Companions Rescue Center. Her group was alerted by a member who heard about Rumble’s treatment at the Sashabaw Mobile Homes in Clarkson, Michigan. It turns out Rumble had been beaten and left for dead. When he was found he was covered in maggot eggs according to Plovie.

“It’s very frustrating to know there’s people out there that would harm animals in such a way.”

That’s why the group hatched a plan to give Rumble a rare opportunity — their lawyer is attempting to get Rumble inside the courtroom Wednesday afternoon when a judge hears a victim impact statement in the hearing of Jeremy Atkins. Atkins faces up to 90 days for animal abuse charges — a second person, Heather Bradly, is expected to go before a judge at a later date for sentencing in her own case for misdemeanor animal abuse.

While the sentencing will bring some closure to the story, Plovie notes that Rumble will never be the same. He won’t regain his eyesight and will need medicine for the rest of his life. In fact, they can’t even think about adopting him out yet because of ongoing medical issues. Rumble was featured in a story chronicling his abuse more than a month ago on 7 Action News, but a few short days later nearly died due to ongoing complications as a result of his injuries.

“Now he’s becoming a little spitfire, said Rumble’s foster mom Gretchen Terpening back in September. “He likes to play now he actually started to pick up a toy and shake it.”

Terpening has given up the better part of four months caring for Rumble throughout his ups and downs, the group and it’s advocates have poured thousands of dollars into Rumble’s care. As a result, they’re hoping the community takes notice of the long-lasting effects of a dog abuse case that most folks rarely see.

“It’s very important to stand behind in what you say, and it’s very important to be as detailed as possible as quick as possible,” said Erica McCarthy, the operating manager for Canine Companions Rescue Center. 

If you know more about Rumble’s abuse case, or have information about where the dog originated from the group is asking you reach out to them through their website ( ). You can also help get involved with Rumble’s recovery through donations.

The group asked to thank everyone involved with the pup’s recovery — a list which includes dozens of individuals.