It’s been only on occasion that any story about a topic other than the COVID-19 pandemic has earned the top position in our two newspapers.

That was before we heard about a dog we came to know as Nathan. The dog was found in January in poor health by a homeowner on Warren Stein Road in Cairo. The homeowner came upon Nathan sleeping in a shed trying to keep warm.

The undernourished Labrador/Staffordshire terrier mix was brought to the Columbia-Greene Humane Society shelter in Hudson, where he was examined by a veterinarian.

Nathan, estimated to be about 2 years old and approximately 20 pounds under his normal weight, was suffering from malnutrition and dehydration for many months. Not days or weeks, months.

But Nathan was suffering from an illness far more serious. He had nephritis, which led to massive kidney failure caused by Lyme disease, an extremely painful condition. It was fatal to him.

On Jan. 29, Nathan was humanely euthanized surrounded by his new friends at the shelter,

Nathan became a fast favorite at the Columbia-Greene Humane Society with staff members cooking special diets for him to aid in his recovery. While he was at the shelter, Nathan was shown unconditional love and kindness, something he had clearly never experienced.

A $1,000 reward was offered Wednesday for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of the animal’s owner or the person or persons who abandoned him to die on a lonely country road in Greene County.

Finding the person responsible for this heinous act of neglect is a top priority. Some of the people who knew Nathan for a brief time were devastated by Nathan’s death and wept when he died. And we can’t ignore the fact that the dog got the name Nathan, as one person put it, “to give him dignity.”

Nathan’s owner, if found, could face charges of failure to provide sustenance, abandonment of animals in public and animal cruelty, all misdemeanors. No matter how you slice it, this adds up to one of the saddest examples of animal cruelty we have ever seen.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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