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Two Dogs Left to Die in Humboldt House

posted on Thursday, May 17, 2018 in News

Humbolt Dogs

The ARL’s Cruelty Intervention program helps animals across Iowa. Last year we helped animals in need across 65 Iowa counties and 8 other states. Our Cruelty Intervention program relies solely on private donations to fund this important work, much of which includes training and providing guidance for law enforcement -- like in the horrific case of Boston and Murphy below. There is no other program like this in the state and we need your help to keep it going. Make a donation today at www.ARL-Iowa.org/Donate. Read on for Boston and Murphy’s story.


Recently, we received a call from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s office to provide guidance for a horrific case they responded to. Two dogs were abandoned inside a house in the city of Humboldt.

“Boston,” a young Great Dane, and “Murphy” a 9-month-old Australian Shepherd puppy were each locked inside their kennels and left to die. Sadly, by the time the call came, it was too late. Boston and Murphy had suffered immensely from being withheld food and water. Eventually their frail bodies couldn’t take it anymore and they died … completely alone. To make it even more heartbreaking, there were a couple bags of dog food left inside the house, just feet away from where they were trapped inside their kennels.

When the dogs were found, their combined body weight was just 39 lbs.

A necropsy was performed and bone marrow samples from each dog were sent to the Michigan State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory for testing to confirm cause of death. Normal fat content in dog bone marrow averages 59.4%. Boston’s fat content was 4.2% and Murphy’s was just 0.5%.

This didn’t happen overnight. Boston and Murphy deserved better, but were failed by the one person they trusted to care for them. Humboldt County Sheriff Dean Kruger said, “This is one of the worst cases I’ve ever seen. These poor dogs were starved to death and the evidence shows they suffered greatly. This case is a prime example of why we need stricter laws.”

Please make a donation in memory of Boston and Murphy so their legacy does not have to end in that empty house where no one could hear their cries. Instead make their legacy one that helps other innocent animals who still have a chance of being saved.

Donate Now

Kristina Rake, Humbolt P.S. Kristina Rake of Humboldt was arrested and charged with 2 counts of Animal Neglect Causing Death or Serious Injury and 2 counts of Failure to Dispose Animal Remains. Rake pleaded guilty to both counts of Animal Neglect and was sentenced to 5 days in jail. The remaining charges were dropped as part of the plea agreement. Most animal neglect cases do not result in jail time, so we applaud the Humboldt County Sheriff’s office and the Humboldt County Prosecutor’s office for presenting a strong case and pursuing maximum penalties currently allowed under Iowa law. Even yet, this punishment does not fit the crime. Until our state lawmakers act on the proposed legislation to change this, animal abusers will continue to get away with just a “slap on the wrist” and Iowa will continue to be ranked as the 2nd worst state in the nation for animal welfare laws. Learn more about what we are doing to help strengthen these laws and how you can help at www.ARL-Iowa.org/HAN.