Chase and Jennifer Utley Pay Expenses for Injured Philadelphia Dog

Thanks to Jacquie for barking in this good ending to a story with a bad start. Thanks to for this article. Hi Joy, I...



Thanks to Jacquie for barking in this good ending to a story with a bad start. Thanks to for this article.

Hi Joy,
I thought it would be nice for everyone to hear about a ball player who shares our love of dogs. Chase Utley and his wife Jennifer – a SPCA volunteer, will be handling all medical expenses for a dog that was attacked and tortured in Philadelphia by a gang of 8 or so men who are still on the loose.

In addition, donations of reward money to help catch these sickos are being accepted by the Pensylvania SPCA. Tips and reward money can be called in to the PA SPCA at 215-426-6300.

Search for dog torturers

It was a tragically uneven match: Eight or so boys and young men towering over one 40-pound dog.

But the mischief-minded bullies who gathered around the brindle boxer-mix on a West Philadelphia street Thursday afternoon made their murderous mission even more unmatched when they produced tools of torture – a lighter and some accelerant.

The gang doused the dog with gasoline or some other accelerant, set her afire and then began kicking and beating her as she cowered on the ground on Hirst Street near Market shortly after 4:30 p.m. At least one distressed neighbor who witnessed the torture called police.

Yesterday, the Pennsylvania SPCA launched a “high-priority” investigation to identify the dog’s tormentors. As SPCA veterinarians worked to save the pup’s life, investigators implored witnesses to call in tips and bring the animal-abusers to justice.

“This is one of the worst cases we’ve seen,” said Howard Nelson, chief executive officer of the Pennsylvania SCPA, which investigates about 7,000 animal-abuse and -neglect cases a year statewide. “The severity of it, the use of an accelerant, the cooperative effort of a group – it’s all very alarming.”


The dog – whom rescuers had dubbed Y-Mee (pronounced “Why me?”) – was recovering yesterday at the SPCA’s shelter in North Philadelphia.

She suffered severe burns to her face, rear and left hind leg, and was placed on antibiotics to prevent infection and sedated to alleviate pain, Nelson said. Doctors still were evaluating her to see if she had any internal injuries.

Phillies second-baseman Chase Utley and his wife, Jennifer – an SPCA volunteer – have pledged to pay for the dog’s medical treatment and rehabilitation costs, Nelson said.

In fact, Jennifer Utley even suggested a new name for the dog, one befitting a survivor: “Etana,” indicating spiritual strength and determination.

Although SPCA workers suspect she was a stray because of her thin build, Etana seems sweet-natured and even wagged her tail as vets examined her despite her injuries, Nelson added.

If nabbed, Etana’s abusers face felony charges that could carry jail time.

With dog-fighting still a popular, illegal pastime in Philadelphia, the SPCA recently added agents to crack down on animal cruelty, Nelson said. Agents investigated more than 5,150 reports of animal abuse and neglect in Philadelphia last year, he said.

The SPCA is collecting money to offer a reward for tips leading to the arrest and conviction of Etana’s tormentors.

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