Granite City man charged with animal cruelty after malnourished dog is found

A Granite City man was charged Friday with animal cruelty after he allegedly failed to provided food to his dog, according to the Madison County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Jeremy W. Schrader, 34, has been charged with one count of aggravated cruelty to animals, a felony, and faces up to three years in prison if convicted.

On Sept. 13, Pound Pets Inc., an animal rescue organization in Granite City, received a call regarding an emaciated dog that had been dumped. Pound Pets recovered the terrier boxer mix, named Bella, and found she was in extremely poor condition, emaciated from starvation, and covered in fleas, the state’s attorney’s office said.

Bella received lifesaving medical care. When Bella was found, she weighed 39 pounds, which is about half her recommended weight, the state’s attorney’s office said.

The Granite City Police Department determined Bella belonged to Schrader and that he had withheld food from her for a lengthy period of time, which resulted in extreme malnourishment and caused her to be unable to walk, prosecutors said.

“Our pets are family members who provide unconditional love and support,” State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons said. “They deserve every measure of protection under the law, and that is what we intend to seek for Bella. As owners, we have a legal and moral responsibility to care for and protect our pets. The allegations in this case fly in the face of those responsibilities and show the need for tough penalties for those who would harm or endanger any companion animal.”

Schrader’s bond was set at $25,000.