I believe it, Springy. You don't even want to know the number of calls we get like that. Many times a child (especially the climbers) have just snuck out of the house. Other times you get those where you know something else is going on. The child is not clothed, in colder months, and dirty like you described. That or it might have seemed like an honest mistake the first time but you end up getting another call about the same exact thing a couple of weeks later. Mmmhmmm. :-/
There were a few things I should have called the law about myself. Hind sight and all of that. Sometimes you just were not 100% sure of what the situation was. Some kids here didn't have running water and took occasional baths in a creek so it was common to see them dirty. They were living in squaller. Not the best situation, but it's just how it was then.
ETA: I clearly remember going to teachers about horrible abuse one of my elementary school classmates was going through and being told, "what goes on behind closed doors, in someone else's family, is no one else's business." They wouldn't even look at his bruises. Again, just how it was.
Sounds like an ass kicking would have been well deserved!
*and I am sorry about your doggie
that is terrible.