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Starving Puppy Found in a Garbage Can After Her Owner Moves Away

As she recovers, officers look for owner in order to file animal cruelty charges.

Michael Leaverton  |  Oct 31st 2014


When sanitation worker Nathan Binnie was on his route in New Stanton, Pennsylvania, he noticed something unimaginable in front of a residence on Pine Lane. A puppy, stuffed in a garbage can, her head sticking out of a bag.

“It sort of scared me actually,” he told TribLive.com. “I feel bad when I see nice toys in the trash, but a puppy like that — it’s just horrible.”

Binnie immediately pulled the dog out and called his dispatcher. Then, because the dog was moving and all Binnie could see was skin and bones, he went back to the truck.

“I gave her my lunch because it looked like she was starving,” he said.

Humane Society Police Officer Jan Dillon arrived on the scene, and what she saw shocked her. She told TribLive.com that it was the worst case of animal abuse she’s encountered since starting the job ten years ago.

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But the dog was friendly. Dillon and fellow officer Cyndi Price had no problem approaching her.

“She came right up to us,” Price said.

Dillon gathered up the dog and took her to the humane society, and employees set about trying to bring her back from the brink. She told TribLive.com that the dog should weigh about 50 pounds; she weighs 17. Her teeth look like that of a five-year-old dog; she is only 10 months. Dillon said the dog had been starved over an extended period and is being gradually reintroduced to food. She hopes for the best.

“She is so dehydrated and malnourished, we could not get blood from her to check some blood work,” Dillon told WTAE. “We checked the kidney and liver functions. But she is eating small amounts of food. That’s all we can do to build her up — just give her small amounts of food every three hours or so.”

The Humane Society of Westmoreland County

The Humane Society of Westmoreland County

We’ve seen cases like this, in which people ignore their dogs while they slowly starve to death, but what authorities found out while investigating the story boggles the mind.

The dog had a microchip. It turns about she was adopted from a nearby shelter just a few months ago. The owner, a woman, seems to have adopted the puppy and immediately begun starving her. Charges are expected to be filed, but authorities haven’t done so yet because she moved from the area this week.

Her starving puppy in the garbage can? The woman was cleaning house, getting rid of the trash before her big move, and the puppy was part of that trash — the puppy she’d had only a few months.

“It’s ridiculous. I hate to say it, but it would have been better if they let the dog loose; at least it could have tried to get something to eat,” Dillon told WPXI.

Follow the story at the Humane Society’s Facebook page.

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