Ohio Man Arrested After Puppy Found Abandoned and Tied in Drawstring Bag at Local Park

Harold Dean Lilly was booked into Butler County Jail, and the puppy — now named Ryder — is in the care of a local humane society

<p>Animal Friends Humane Society/Facebook; Butler County Sheriff

Animal Friends Humane Society/Facebook; Butler County Sheriff's Office

Ryder the puppy, Harold Dean Lilly

An Ohio man has been arrested on animal cruelty charges after a puppy was found "tied up" in a drawstring bag at a local park in April.

Harold Dean Lilly of Middletown was charged with second-degree misdemeanors — cruelty to a companion animal and abandoning animals — on Friday, May 3, per a Facebook post from the Butler County Sheriff’s Office.

His arrest comes more than a week after a puppy was found "tied up in a bag and abandoned" on April 24 at 700 Joe Nuxhall Boulevard in Hamilton, the office said in the post.

The Butler County dog wardens then took the dog to the local Animal Friends Humane Society, which updated its Facebook followers about the pup's plight soon after he was discovered.

As the organization shared, the 2- to 3-month-old dog was located in a "closed drawstring bag" in a Hamilton park, and they have since begun referring to the animal as Ryder.

<p>credit: Animal Friends Humane Society/Facebook</p> Ryder, the puppy who was found abandoned in an Ohio park

credit: Animal Friends Humane Society/Facebook

Ryder, the puppy who was found abandoned in an Ohio park

"Yesterday on intake, he was not acting like a normal puppy. He was lethargic and weak. While we accounted for his traumatic experience, we also had to rule out sicknesses. He tested negative for parvo and was vaccinated and dewormed. We then let him rest and regain his strength and stability, under the watchful eye of our medical team," Animal Friends wrote of Ryder on Facebook.

"Today, Ryder was alert, curious and ready to eat! We appreciate everyone’s support for the little guy already and we hope to update with every step of Ryder’s journey," the organization continued.

After the puppy was discovered in L.J. Smith Park last month, Sheriff Richard K. Jones went live on Facebook with dog warden Elizabeth Burkett and they revealed that the bag Ryder was found in was "drawn tight" so that the puppy would "not get out of the sack."

"I assume somebody put it out there to die and be done with the dog," Jones said.

Burkett added that she was dispatched to the park after an employee there said she "had a very hard time" untying the dog.

"When I arrived on scene the dog looked very defeated, overall seems healthy by appearance, just seems very defeated right now," she recalled.

<p>Butler County Sheriff's Office</p> Harold Dean Lilly

Butler County Sheriff's Office

Harold Dean Lilly

On April 27, Animal Friends noted that Ryder was "improving every day" and had been "up moving around his cage, wiggling his little butt and crying for attention" since being found days earlier.

"We have received A LOT of interest in lil Ryder. While we know he is adorable, he is still a part of an ongoing cruelty investigation," the shelter said at the time, prior to Lilly's arrest. "The sheriff's office has received many tips and are following up on them all. We are uncertain when or if he will become available. Ryder's well being and the investigation come first."

Per the Butler County Sheriff's Office, Lilly is awaiting his appearance in Hamilton Municipal Court.

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