Edited to add article
Dog starves to death, Troy woman charged
Updated: 12/10/2008 06:27 PM
By: Steve Ference
TROY, N.Y. -- "This dog suffered a horrible, painful, elongated death," said Troy Police Officer James Bottillo.
It took weeks, maybe months, for a pit bull found locked up in a Troy backyard to die.
"It was a severely malnourished two year old, to the best of our knowledge," said Bottillo.
The dog was kept in a metal cage, with no protection from the cold weather. It's collar too large to fit its emaciated body. Only sticks and small rocks were found in the dog's stomach and its fur caked with feces.
"This dog suffered some significant muscle atrophy and was probably unable to move at all," Bottillo said.
"I feel bad. I just feel bad for the people in this house if they would treat their dog like that," said neighbor Michelle McMurray.
Neighbors were surprised to hear police charged Deborah Bradley, 48, with felony aggravated animal cruelty. She was arraigned and issued an appearance ticket.
"Independent witnesses indicated they had confronted this woman several weeks before it passed away, indicating the dog didn't appear to be in too good of shape and it was ignored on that part," Bottillo said.
Neighbors told police they had seen the dog in the backyard for about a month. But neighbors we spoke with say they were told by Bradley that she only noticed the dog had been there on Thanksgiving and the next day she was arrested. We tried to speak with her here, but she slammed the door on us.
But if you come to the backyard, you do see it's fairly wide open. So if there was a dog in a cage starving and you came back here, you'd probably notice.
"The animal population can't make a 911 call," officer Bottillo said. "As I said, all it can do is sit and yelp in its kennel until it doesn't have enough energy to do that."
All of this as police say a number of organizations would have come to take the dog before it died. The Mohawk and Hudson River Humane Society, where other dogs are waiting for a home, is just a few minute drive from where the dog starved to death.
The shelter's executive director, Brad Shear, said whoever caused the dog to die "could have come here seven days a week and said, 'I can't take care of my dog anymore' and that would have taken care of it."
If convicted, Bradley would face at least a year behind bars.