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      Reward fund in Dara the dog case remains untouched

      Dara the dog on Thursday (Scott Garrand/WCIV)

      By Sonya Stevenssstevens@abcnews4.com

      GEORGETOWN, S.C. (WCIV) -- Progress is being made in the case of Dara the dog, which has employees at St. Frances Animal Center breathing a sigh of relief.

      The wound is barely visible, but what's not hard to see is the sweetness of a dog that{} was literally left to die.

      "As you can see, Dara is doing great. Her wound on her head is almost completely healed," said Wendy Goude, director at St. Frances Animal Center. "The biopsy came back clean and all the masses were benign, so she is 100 percent healthy."

      On Wednesday, an arrest was made in the case. Bobby Joe McConnell was charged with three counts of animal cruelty. As of 5 p.m. on Thursday night he was still being held on a $15,000 bond.

      The shocking twist: Dara belonged to McConnell's own daughter.

      "I was shocked beyond belief and a little devastated that this dog fell victim to her own ownerthat disturbed me very much," said Goude.

      Officials at St. Frances Animal Center have taken care of Dara since she arrived the first week of July.

      "You understand that we have been her protector, her new mom, I mean we love love love this dog and to know that this person is no longer running the streets able to hurt other dogs even possibly children, whatever it may be, to have him off the streets, it was like a touchdown," said Goude.

      For Monica McConnell, the arrest of her ex-husband was a surprise.

      "I was furious because I was upset that who would do that to her because she's a good dog," said Monica McConnell, ex-wife of Bobby Joe McConnell.

      While McConnell hopes to reunite Dara with her daughter, Goude says Dara's future home is uncertain.

      "Whenever we get through this trial, we'll go further," said Goude. "We'll know if we can actually adopt her outwhere she goes from there."

      Even though there is a suspect in custody, the reward fund that was set-up to find the person responsible remains untouched.

      "The reward fund is in a separate account that will stay there," said Goude. "We base it on the arrest and conviction for the person who did this. So as soon as we have a conviction, we will work with the sheriffs department and well go forward from there."

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