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DULUTH - A woman brought a skeletal young pit bull, barely breathing, to Duluth's Animal Allies Humane Society on Saturday, saying she found him on the side of a road.

Shelter workers later learned the dog they dubbed Lovebug had allegedly been neglected by his owner and left in a crate to starve, said Nicole Facciotto, humane education manager for Animal Allies.

"This is probably the most severe [case] we've seen," she said. "He couldn't walk on his own. His body temperature was so low, it wasn't registering."

Despite efforts to save the dog — and more than $14,000 raised to pay for his expenses — he died early Sunday in the home of the shelter's medical manager.

The St. Louis County Sheriff's Office arrested Duluth resident Rainna Korby, 24, on Monday and she was charged Wednesday morning with a felony related to animal torture. The dog, whose actual name is Gio, had been dropped off by a friend of Korby's.

According to the complaint, Korby left her dog in her apartment locked in a small kennel without food or water about a month ago to stay elsewhere with her daughter. A friend who occasionally helped Korby with care for her daughter told police she checked on the dog Nov. 1 and fed him, and went again Nov. 11 at Korby's request.

She didn't want to go home to a dead dog, the complaint says.

Gio was unable to fully extend his limbs and was lying in his bodily waste. When Korby learned of his dire state, she asked her friend to bring him to a shelter and concoct a lie about finding him.

The shelter shared Gio's story and image on social media as soon as it had begun his care, triggering outrage and outreach. What remains of funds raised will go toward other mistreated animals received at the shelter.

Employees are devastated by the dog's death, Facciotto said, especially after initial positive signs.

Gio had responded well to affection and small amounts of food and fluids, with staff employing safe methods of reviving malnourished dogs.

"We became pretty confident he was going to make it," Facciotto said, and the shelter had plans to use money raised to transfer him to round-the-clock medical care.

But he died in the middle of the night, "when his body was probably comfortable enough and he felt warm and safe and was just ready to go," she said.

The number of neglected animals brought to the shelter has increased this year, and the organization has been consistently full for months. PJ's Rescue, another Duluth animal rescue group, recently announced it could no longer accept new animals because it didn't have the space.