(picture linked from Examiner.com article)
Duchess was apparently been chained out back of her family's house for hours, barking, and the neighbors report that they did not see food and water out for her. She also had no shelter, and a neighbor is quoted as having seen the puppy try to dig a hole and crawl under a porch for shelter. For reference, it's been 90 in Ft. Lauderdale. When people approached the owners and said things to the effect of "hey, can we take your dog to the vet? Hey, she needs water and food", the owner said "It's just a dog" and told them to get off his property. (We already know how I feel about "just a dog" statements)
Police had visited the home once already, and took Duchess who animal control, who determined that she was in good health and released her to the owners. I'm not a medical professional, but when I saw the picture I linked above, I thought it was of a dead puppy. Not one who had a "tub of high quality food" inside for her. I don't know how you can look at that little girl and say there are "no signs of abuse", though apparently when a vet did see her, she wasn't gaining weight because she had hookworm (according to the NBC 6 video). They were displaying vaccination records, maybe somebody should've said "hey, we shouldn't see a dog's ribs, spine, and hips" and done a fecal. Also according to the video, straight from the owner's mouth, though a house dog Duchess was chained out back because she had a "discipline problem with barking". She's 8 weeks old, for God's sake. She's a baby. Puppies bark; do you put a baby outside for crying?
(pictures from Dogster article)
No dog deserves to be chained outside. There's a high correlation between dogs who are chained/tied up outside and bites, in fact. Obviously, this hits me hard, because I know Elka doesn't want to be outside without us. I tried to get her to go outside and potty without me once during the winter; she'll stand in the middle of the yard and bark at the house. Dobermans want to be with their people. I'd risk making the assumption that most dogs do.
Duchess does look like a sweetie (though somebody needs to clean hear ears up; they were cropped, and clearly have gluey stuff from tape all over them in the NBC 6 video.) I hope she has a good and happy life, and those nasty hookworms are taken care of.