Couple Gets Jail Time for Starving Pregnant Dog

Written by Alisa Mullins

PETA’s straw-delivery volunteers see the worst that society has to offer—dogs starved for attention (and often food), sentenced to life on a chain, and surrounded by mud and garbage. Dogs with nothing more than old refrigerators, truck camper shells, or overturned barrels for “shelter”—if they have any shelter at all, even on snow-covered ground. Dogs suffering from heartworm disease, flystrike so severe that pieces of their ears have been eaten away, frostbite, broken bones, mange, and horrific injuries—all left untreated.

Angel the dog cruelty (1)

But our staffers and volunteers still encounter situations that shock them, and that’s what happened while two of them were delivering straw in Franklin, Virginia, last year on the day after Thanksgiving.

As the volunteers approached the pen in the backyard, a pit bull named Angel tumbled out of her doghouse. She wagged her tail, but that was all that she had the energy to do. No matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t muster the strength to stand or right herself, let alone walk even the few feet to her visitors.

Angel was heavily pregnant, her body twitching with seizures. Her spine, hips, ribs, and shoulder blades protruded sharply from her emaciated body. One of PETA’s volunteers had to crawl under the pen’s padlocked fence to get to her, since her owners didn’t know where the key was.

We rushed Angel to a veterinarian who diagnosed her with advanced starvation, anemia, and severe parasite infestation. She had the lowest body temperature the vet had ever seen, from the combination of shock, the cold outdoor temperature, and her total lack of body fat. Because the vet determined that Angel was suffering and unlikely to survive even the most aggressive treatment, he recommended that she be euthanized on the spot, and she slipped peacefully away.

Angel the dog cruelty (3)

Angel the dog cruelty (4)

PETA filed charges against her owners, and on Monday, after the veterinarian testified that Angel’s debilitated condition was caused by long-term starvation and neglect and that she “would have been dead by the next morning,” the judge fined each of Angel’s owners $500 and sentenced one of them to a year in jail with 11 months suspended and the 30-day jail term to begin immediately. The other owner’s 30-day jail term was suspended. But most importantly, the judge banned both of them from owning animals, so they will never again be able to subject another dog to what Angel endured.

What You Can Do

If you ever have any reason to suspect that an animal is being abused or neglected, please check, and always report it to authorities. Don’t wait until it’s too late.

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  • Lauren Smith

    Posted June 11, 2014

    Sick POS!!! These people are beyond savages…there mother should have aborted them!
    Lock them up…they need an adequate sentence not a slap on the wrist!

    Lauren

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