In honor of April as Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month we are sharing some of the stories of pets our humane officers rescued over the last year; and recognizing the work of our humane police officers. This is Tulip’s story, by Officer Cathy Bricker
On March 8th 2011 Animal Control and I were called by the Sheriffs Department after they had entered an apartment at 37D Midway Drive in the Mon Vue Heights complex in West Mifflin with a warrant looking for a suspect in a recent stabbing. They did not find their suspect but saw an emaciated pit bull-dog confined to a filthy crate in a bedroom.
I responded with Animal Control and went to the property manager’s office where I learned that the tenant, Janine Wilson, has been evicted and locked out on March 3rd. The property manager sent a Housing Authority maintenance worker with us to enter the apartment.
In an upstairs bedroom of 37D we found a feces filled crate under a blanket. Inside cowered an emaciated female dark-colored pit bull-dog with feces crusted on her body, tail and legs. She had pressure sores on elbows and her butt as well as a skin condition. There was no water or food inside the crate. The 2 empty bowls had feces and urine in them.
The property manager signed a release for me to remove the dog. I offered a small amount of food and water to the dog prior to transport which was inhaled ravenously and promptly regurgitated and then ate again.
At the Fallen Timber Shelter the dog was started on a “starvation diet” which means offering small amounts of food and water several times daily in order to acclimate the dogs system correctly. She was examined by the vet and started on treatment for dehydration, starvation, infection and mange. She weighed just over 20 pounds.
“Tulip” as she was called by the staff adjusted nicely and just 12 days later and now weighing 30 pounds, blossomed into a very nice looking and friendly dog that passed her behavior evaluation with flying colors! She finished her treatment for mange was put up for adoption.
At a hearing before District Justice Richard Olasz Jr. in West Mifflin, “Tulips” owner Janine Wilson was found guilty in absentia for the neglect and fined $300.00 plus court costs.
Tulip was adopted in May, 2011.