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Monday, Nov 4, 2013County: Delaware
Disposition: Not Charged
Abuser names unreleased
A constable conducting an eviction Monday in the 1100 block of Thomas Street discovered two emaciated dogs in the vacant property.
The pit bull terrier mixes were severely underweight and were alone in the home for an unknown period of time. The dogs, a mother and 5-month-old puppy, are currently in the care of the Delaware County SPCA.
The puppy, dubbed Bambi by SPCA staff, weighs 7 pounds, about one-third of what it should and is in critical condition. The mother, named Faline after another character from the Disney movie, is also underweight, weighing about 14 pounds shy of its 40 pound healthy weight.
Dave Schlott, an independent animal control officer, summoned SPCA Humane Investigator Bill Vernon to the scene after being alerted by the constable, and the dogs were taken to the group's shelter in Upper Providence.
"It actually brought tears to my eyes," Schlott said. "I've seen it before, but this one hit me."
The SPCA is handling the dogs' care.
"Mom is not as bad as baby," Delco SPCA Director of Community Relations Justina Calgiano said. "But she should be at least double her current weight. The puppy is much worse off."
Bambi is so underweight, Calgiano said, she is having trouble keeping her body temperature at a safe level.
"We are keeping close tabs on the baby overnight," Calgiano said.
Both dogs are on a regimented feeding program so they are not overfed.
"(Bambi) hasn't gotten any worse since we've gotten her. We're just trying to keep her body temperature elevated."
Bambi went home with one of the shelter's veterinary technicians Monday night so she could be monitored and receive constant care. Calgiano believes she was not far from death when she was rescued.
"When she came in, she was just very out of it. She had a really hard time even standing," Calgiano said. "I really don't think it would have been too long before she crashed and probably wouldn't have made it out of there."
The Delaware County SPCA is becoming very experienced at rescuing severely neglected dogs. Two years ago, a dog named Curious George was rescued from Chester, severely underweight and showing signs of abuse. Another pit bull mix renamed Precious was taken from a Chester basement in 2012. Both were nursed back to health and have found safe, loving homes through the SPCA.
"The team is pretty adept at dealing with these emaciation cases, which is unfortunate," Calgiano said. "People should really be better pet owners."
Vernon is investigating the case, but no owners for the dogs have been identified. Calgiano said an eviction notice was placed on the home about 30 days ago, so the dogs could have been alone in the home for that long. She is unsure of the time frame though. The dogs had free run of the home and there was a bucket of food left out for them.
"What we'll do is send a certified letter to the people that were renting the home," Calgiano said. "We will certainly try to prosecute if we can determine who the owners were."
Neither dog shows signs of aggression, which Calgiano said is unusual in an animal neglect case.
"They are just so friendly, it's really amazing," she said. Neither has displayed any food aggression and have been very comfortable around SPCA staff.
"(Bambi) is really responding well to people," Calgiano said. "It's really reassuring to see that when dogs have been in this situation."
The care required to return Bambi and Faline to health will be costly. The Delaware County SPCA is accepting donations that can be earmarked specifically for the dogs' care at www.delcospca.org/donations.
- Delaware County News Network - Nov 5, 2013
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