Breanna Evans, 22, was charged with a felony count of aggravated cruelty to an animal.
The Chicago Police Department said on October 14 officers found six abused dogs while responding to an unrelated call at a home in the 5400 block of West Potomac Avenue.
A pit bull named Frank was one of the dogs saved from the brink of starvation. Police said he was emaciated to the point where his ribs and spine were showing through his coat.
"Frank was emaciated, abused, left to die in a basement stairwell," said CPD Officer Paul Lauber, who found the dogs.
Lauber said the owner was using them to breed puppies.
"Once the dog had the puppies they would neglect and let the dog die," Lauber said.
Volunteers rescued Frank and brought him to the Niles Animal Hospital & Bird Medical Center. Hospital workers said Frank was in critical shape when he first arrived.
"He could barely stand up, barely walk," said Dr. Peter Sakas, with the Niles Animal Hospital. "He was in critical shape and would have been dead the next day, he was that sick."
Nearly 100 volunteers filled a Cook County courtroom Tuesday to support Frank, as Evans made her first court appearance.
Anna Garrido, who founded Garrido Stray Rescue Foundation, is rallying volunteers to follow this case and speak up on Frank's behalf.
"We have to make sure these animals are protected," Garrido said. "They don't have a voice and we are their voice."
Two weeks later, Frank has gained some weight and is a active, playful and friendly dog. He's almost healthy enough to be adopted.
The Garrido Foundation shared Frank's story on their Facebook page, and said they've received more than 60 offers to adopt Frank.
"It's very important that people who have love for the animals stand up for them," said Lisa Tlapa, a volunteer.
Evans' next hearing is scheduled for next month.