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Lucky has been adopted by veterinarian Steve Osborne and his wife, Kim.
Daily file photo
Lucky has been adopted by veterinarian Steve Osborne and his wife, Kim.

Lucky's day in court delayed
Judge postpones animal abuse
trial scheduled for this week

By Sheryl Marsh
Smarsh@decaturdaily.com 340-2437

Ten months ago someone found Lucky the dog stuffed in a trash bag inside a bin, severely injured.

A veterinarian had to amputate a dangling leg.

This week Lucky was to have his day in Morgan County Circuit Court seeking justice for the alleged abuse but the case got postponed.

"We received a letter in the mail from District Attorney Bob Burrell saying that Judge Glenn Thompson had continued the case," said Kim Osborne.

She and her husband, Veterinarian Steve Osborne, adopted Lucky after saving his life. He now lives at their home and sometimes at the clinic. She said her husband told her the defense attorney asked for continuance of the case. Osborne, who treated Lucky for free, assessed his injuries as consistent with dog fighting.

Reward led to arrest

Osborne started a fund with $500 that rapidly grew to more than $16,000, proportionate to public outcry of Lucky's mistreatment. That reward drew the tip that cracked the case, according to reports.

Police investigated and found Lucky's owner.

Samuel Bernard Sanders surrendered to Decatur police on March 16. He claimed ownership of Lucky, whose original name was Rocky. Sanders disclaimed using the pooch for dogfighting. He told police that another of his dogs injured Lucky while he was not home.

Lucky had duct tape around his snout and his body was badly mangled when he was discovered Feb. 22.

A grand jury indicted Sanders for dog/cat cruelty, a felony, and giving a false report to law enforcement and second-degree perjury, which are misdemeanors.

Initially Sanders told police that someone stole Rocky from his backyard two months before he was found. He then filed a report alleging the theft and that report later yielded the perjury and false report charges.

Investigators said they had no information that led them to believe that Lucky was used as a bait dog for fighting.

"We're in a situation where we have to follow the evidence that we have," Sgt. Rick Archer said in March. "The conclusion that I have come to based on the evidence is that he was not."

Lucky's plight drew national attention.

"Inside Edition" aired Lucky's heart-tugging story in April.

Lucky's support came from near and far away. His biggest help came from the Osbornes, who gave him love and a home. Today he's doing fine.

Losing his right front leg doesn't slow him.

"He's totally healed from the wounds and he's happy and energetic," said Kim Osborne. "The leg being gone doesn't bother him at all."

Lucky will get his day in court when officials re-schedule the case for trial.

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