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I-Team: Investigation into abandoned dog found in Pittston intensifies


PITTSTON, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — An emaciated dog is found abandoned in back alley in Luzerne County and now a criminal investigation is intensifying to find the person responsible.

The I-Team has learned that investigators are working on what they are calling a “soft lead” in this case of animal neglect. The female pit bull is now under care at the Luzerne County SPCA as police and the SPCA investigate.

The community is responding to help and the word we heard over and over: heartbreaking.

“I still have nightmares of looking at that dog so helpless. How could people do that?” Patricia, the woman who found the abandoned pit bull said.

Patricia found the emaciated, abandoned pit bull in an alley behind her Defoe Street home in Pittston Tuesday morning as she was pulling her car out of her garage. The dog was near a dog crate and there was food left in the crate.

“It was horrific it was terrible. If I didn’t come out and it was so humid Tuesday morning the dog would have been dead,” Patricia said.

She called Luzerne County 911 and Pittston police responded — who are now trying to track down who did it.

“Every single officer is my department is disgusted and infuriated by what someone could actually do to another living creature,” said Chief Neil Murphy with the Pittston Police Dept.

An SPCA humane officer was in the Pittston neighborhood Thursday looking for clues as to who might be responsible.

Mehalshick: “Officer Harvey you’ve been around a long time how does this case rate or rank on what you have seen?  

Harvey: “I would say top three.”

SPCA officials are reaching out to the public for help in finding out who abandoned the dog, they say should make a full recovery.

“As an animal welfare professional and a pet parent myself this is heartbreaking to say absolutely. A dog left in this condition in a back alley. Thank goodness for the good Samaritan who called local police and a local veterinarian,” said Todd Hevner, the executive director of the Luzerne County SPCA.

A former local resident who now lives in lake Tahoe, Nevada saw the story about the abandoned pit bull and reached out to Eyewitness News to offer a $1,000 reward for information about the case.

“When I saw that I simply tried to get to every avenue to offer something to give people an incentive to find the people who did this. I’m a dog person and my family has done rescues so when I see something like tis it really pulls on our heart strings,” said Anthony Spatucci, who is offering the reward.

The 8-month-old female pit bull was checked out by a local veterinarian who named her Nova.

Eyewitness News Andy Mehalshick

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