Charges have been laid against the owners of a shepherd-cross named Molly, who was found emaciated and near death last November on Vancouver Island.

Rupert Wilson and Crystal Bee of the Kwakiutl First Nation reserve near Port Hardy are facing animal cruelty charges under the Criminal Code, following a B.C. SPCA investigation. If convicted, the pair could face thousands of dollars in fines, up to five years in jail, and a lifetime ban on owning animals.

Molly recovering

Molly has been recovering at this SPCA foster home in Nanaimo. (B.C. SPCA)

RCMP in Port Hardy discovered the 18-month-old dog tied up outside on the couple's porch on Nov. 25. 

“She was in critical condition, non-responsive and shivering, with a collar deeply embedded in her neck,” said Marcie Moriarty, the B.C. SPCA’s chief prevention and enforcement officer, in a statement.

Molly was rushed to a nearby veterinary hospital for life-saving medical treatment, before being transported to a SPCA foster home in Nanaimo.

Since then, the dog's condition and nutritional needs have been closely monitored by its caretakers. 

Molly emaciated

Molly was found extremely emaciated in Port Hardy on Vancouver Island. (B.C. SPCA )

"She is still too thin, but she is recovering and her weight has increased from 12.2 kilograms to 18.8 kilograms,” said Moriarty. 

"The fact that Molly has survived is a true miracle."

The dog will be placed in a permanent home when it is strong enough to make the transition.