01/14/2014 02:13 EST | Updated 03/16/2014 05:59 EDT

Animal Cruelty Charges Laid Against Port Hardy Couple

VANCOUVER - Charges of animal cruelty have been laid against a Vancouver Island couple after an emaciated and shivering shepherd-cross dog was found near death on the porch of their Port Hardy-area home.

The BC SPCA says 18-month old Molly was near death and needed life-saving veterinary care when RCMP in Port Hardy were alerted to her condition on Nov. 25.

Marcie Moriarty, BC SPCA chief prevention and enforcement officer, says the dog weighed just 12.2 kilograms and her collar was also deeply embedded in her neck.

Since then, Moriarty says Molly has gained more than six kilograms while in foster care, but at 18.8 kilograms she is still too thin and can't be moved to her waiting permanent home until she is stronger.

SPCA spokeswoman Lorie Chortyk confirms Rupert Wilson and Crystal Bee each face charges of causing unnecessary pain and suffering to an animal and causing injury to an animal.

A next court date for the pair has not been set.

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