Smokey the condemned dog finally shook the law off his furry black back only to face a potentially deadly case of heartworms.

The sad-eyed Labrador retriever was freed Friday from the Danville Area Humane Society after his case drew worldwide attention.A judge had sentenced the 5-year-old dog to die by lethal injection for menacing - but not biting - postal carriers. Charges were later dropped.

But the Humane Society isn't done with Smokey. They say his owner, Craig Jackson, is not treating the dog's heartworms and has let Smokey sire, by Jackson's estimate, 100 puppies.

Heartworm treatment can be costly and complicated, said Humane Society director Paulette Dean.

"Mr. Jackson said he would rather see his dog die of natural causes than (see) `you people have the pleasure of killing him,' " she said.

Jackson said he was just teasing.

"I didn't pay her no mind really. I'll call the vet and if that's really what the deal is I'll get" the dog heartworm treatments, he said.

A Humane Society officer will seek a court order to have Smokey removed from Jackson's home again if the heartworms aren't treated this week, Dean said.