HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – A disturbing story of animal abuse unraveling in Broward County after a dog was found in such poor condition that it had to be put down.
That dog’s owner is now under arrest.
An alert utility worker spotted the dog, saw the shocking scene and notified police.
His name was Champion. A pit pull that was 12 to 14 years old.
He was found behind a house at 5213 Wiley Street in Hollywood
He was lying on hot concrete in direct sun, extremely malnourished, full of open sores. His hip bone and rib cage were visible.
The responding officer gave the dog water from a bottle, but he was too weak to walk.
That officer rushed Champ to Hollywood Animal Hospital.
Deven Soto is with Good Karma Pet Rescue of South Florida. The non-profit was planning to pay for Champ’s emergency care and even had a foster family lined up.
“Those pictures are haunting,” Soto said.
61-year-old James McCrea was arrested and charged with animal abuse.
According to the police report, McCrea told police the dog belonged to his daughter, who moved Georgia a year and a half ago.
The police report says there was no water and only old food in a bowl.
The dog had air pockets in his chest, had heart worms and an old hip injury that was never addressed. His labs were so bad he was going to need a blood transfusion.
But all the care in the world couldn’t save Champ.
He had doctor’s working on him for days,” said Soto. “Every time he got a blood transfusion he would perk up, then he started to decline and there was a point...we knew it was time. We gave him the best chance we could.”
There was another the other dog also found at McCrea’s home, also a pit bull. That dog was not in as bad shape and was confiscated by Broward Animal Care and Adoption.