I completely agree that this owner should face cruelty charges and should not get the dog back. Hopefully, one of the rescue party that actually saved her will be allowed to adopt her.
I just can't understand why the Sheriff's Dept. wouldn't have contacted a local animal welfare society, etc. to see if there was anyone who could help the dog if their (sheriff's) rescue team is solely for human emergencies. I know the Humane Society, etc. in our area would probably love the publicity, good will, and donations that would come along with a high profile rescue.