Cumberland Times-News

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December 20, 2012

Two dogs, in separate Somerset County homes, found close to death

Both owners face animal cruelty charges

SOMERSET, Pa. — Two dogs close to death were found in separate locations in Somerset County after allegedly being mistreated by the owners, law enforcement authorities said.

Dragger, a 4-year-old English bulldog, was seized Dec. 5 from a trailer court in Somerset, and Dixie, a 5- or 6-year-old boxer, was found Dec. 13 outside a home in Confluence.

Both animals were sent to the Laurel Highlands Animal Hospital for treatment.

Both owners will face animal cruelty charges, said Tina Thompson, an officer with the Humane Society of Somerset County.

The incidents underscore what officials say is the growing problem of animal neglect.

The Humane Society of Somerset County is asking for donations to care for the neglected animals.

“It’s absolutely unbelievable they could do these things to these animals,” Thompson said.

Thompson said she was summoned to the trailer court by state police. There she found Dragger in the care of the owner.

“The woman had him out on the floor and apparently due to embarrassment was trying to clean the urine and feces that was embedded on his coat,” Thompson said.

The dog was treated by Travis Tull, a veterinarian at the animal hospital.

The dog’s eyes were crusted shut, Tull said.

“He was unable to stand or open his eyes,” he said.

After about a week, Dragger was taken to Pittsburgh Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center, where Michael Finn performed surgery to save his right eye.

The dog is now in foster care.

Dixie was found with a couple who had the dog after the owner was unable to care for her.

“She was covered in fleas and her body was in starvation mode,” said Steven Triol, co-owner of Laurel Highlands Animal Hospital.

Dixie also had a low-grade urinary tract infection, he said.

“We’ve got her stabilized,” Triol said. “She’s got a long row to hoe.”

Dixie also will be placed in foster care.

Animals are often neglected by irresponsible owners and owners who can no longer have the money to care for them.

“It’s very frustrating,” Triol said.

Veterinarians try to provide quality care for animals at an affordable price and yet dogs are still neglected, he said.

“It breaks your heart,” Triol said.

Anyone interested to donating for the care of neglected animals can send checks to the Humane Society of Somerset County, P.O. Box 182, Somerset PA 15501.

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