This was a hard one to write. But stick around. It gets better.
Four months ago, on a chilly January morning, Topeka's interim animal control supervisor and 30-year ACO Lisa Pinkley responded to a check welfare call that would change the lives of four poodle mixes.
When Pinkley found them, they were emaciated and covered in painful mats.
One had a festering wound on its mouth.
One was outside the fence and in the street, chewing on roadkill (Pinkley picked up the squirrel while we were there).
Pinkley took the dogs from their owner. He wasn't happy.
The owner is facing four cruelty to animal charges, which is pretty extensive in our cruelty ordinance.
He also faces two charges for keeping a dog without a permit and one charge for a dog running at large. He was served in January, and has yet to show up to court.
But he eventually relinquished his rights to the dogs, so they can be adopted before the outcome of his case.
We took the dogs straight away to the vet to be groomed and treated.
It wasn't until then that we understood just how long they had been neglected.
The images below could be disturbing to some.