I unfortunately see this far too often. People love the idea of having a dog or a cat and see them for free, and think, 'Hey! Ill just take good care of it and it wont cost me anything!' But even taking care of a healthy pet is expensive. Depending on the climate you live in, you could be looking at 2-3oo per year for vaccinations and preventitive care.
It really isnt fair to the animals out there, and not fair to the animal lovers out there either, who have to see it. IT COSTS MONEY TO CARE FOR PETS!!!! THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A FREE PET! Unless you have the money and are prepared to financially and emotionally take care of the animal you shouldnt have one.
I think people should have to obtain a permit to own pets. Just to protect ones like this. As for animal abuse, it depends on her state's laws on animals. Unfortunately there are only a few states that have clearly defined laws on animal abuse. and most are pretty extreme. Im just hoping the dog wont suffer long.