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Starving Pit Bull Escapes Becoming Another Winter Weather Statistic

Written by Alisa Mullins | January 27, 2014

While out participating in PETA’s straw- and doghouse-delivery program, a volunteer happened upon an emaciated pit bull who was chained outside in frigid weather with nothing but a cold, empty plastic barrel for “shelter.” The volunteer stuffed the barrel with straw, but—alarmed by the dog’s appalling condition and fearful about her chances of survival in sub-freezing temperatures and an impending snowstorm with such flimsy shelter—she called PETA’s Community Animal Project right away.

Starving Chained Pit Bull Melissa

Pit Bull Dog Melissa Warm with Straw

A PETA fieldworker arrived on the scene and spoke with the dog’s owner, explaining that, given her grave condition and the freezing temperatures, the dog might not survive the night. Our fieldworkers do find dogs frozen to death outside during winter cold snaps.

Her owner signed the dog over, and our fieldworker rushed her to a vet.

The pit bull, whom we dubbed Melissa, weighed just 30 pounds, about half what she should have weighed. The veterinary exam showed that she was in bad shape, indeed. She was anemic, tested positive for heartworms, and was suffering from the effects of chronic, long-term malnutrition. Her face was covered with scars, a sign that she had likely been involved in fights with other dogs. She basked in all the attention lavished on her by PETA staffers, and she ate ravenously. And in next to no time, she put on weight, an indication that she had been deliberately starved.

Sad Starving Pit Bull Melissa

Sad Pit Bull Melissa with Face Scars

After reviewing the evidence provided by PETA, police charged Melissa’s owner with cruelty, and this week, the woman was sentenced to 25 hours of community service and, more importantly, was banned from ever owning animals again.

What You Can Do

Many other dogs just like Melissa are out there suffering in the cold right now. If you suspect that an animal is being abused or neglected, contact your local law-enforcement agency right away. If you don’t get results, call PETA at 757-622-PETA.

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  • Susan Knieriemen says:

    25 hours of community service ? Really?? What is wrong with our justice system?

  • Suzie says:

    It is great to see this person is not allowed to ever own animals in her life again. But who is going to make sure this really does not happen?

  • It is good that this cruel woman will not be able to have animals again! However, 25 hrs. of community service? A slap on the wrist in our opinion! Laws must be toughened for abusers and to deter others from doing the same thing to animals!

  • Marion Friedl says:

    Poor dog, he´s so terribly thin! :-(

  • I’ve always wanted to help animals .One idea I came up with was Man started all this.so why do animals still suffer for THEM. arrest the people Give them a sentence but While in jail the do so many hours of volunteer work at the pound.Pentalties aren’t strong enough to make the abuser has to suffer to.. When they got out They should still do time at the pound..volunteer for 3-5 years. Then make them Pay ever mouth to the spca a 100 to 150.00 a mouth for whatever they have to untillt they are done with their time 3-5 yrs..either way either the animals and abussers will either see how bad they are hurt but stiil love u. So they will fall in love
    with them and if they don’t find lov for the animals they will know what it’s gonna cost them. being the people cause all the cost. They caused the problem they should pay for it.The spca will have more money to take care of them. just a thought

  • chopsueylouie says:

    I think the laws need to be changed to make abuse of a helpless animal a felony with jail time. What a disgusting human beings those people are!

  • THANK GOD THAT LITTLE GUY WAS SAVED.HE WAS NOT A PET BUT A FORGOTTON ANIMAL-USED ONLY WHEN PEOPLE WANTED ENJOYMENT OUT OF HIS MISERY.I WISH I COULD TAKE HIM BUT BLESS HIS SOUL AND I HOPE HE FINDS A BEAUTIFUL HOME.SO YOUNG TO HAVE ALREADY SUFFERED SO MUCH.BUT THEY ARE LOVING AND FORGIVING AND IN TIME HE WILL MEND. LOVE HIM. THANK GOD FOR THAT PERSON-HIS ANGEL.

  • Todd says:

    Way to go stupid! your dumber than a box of rocks! Who let this idiot out of his cage! Come on man, use your pea brain a little bit.

  • Kristine says:

    People who treat animals so horribly have a sick sadistic mentality. I would’ve hoped for jail time because she definitely deserved it but at least no more animals can suffer at her hands.

  • anastasya varvaryuk says:

    It’s sad that this woman only got 25 hours community service – she should have gotten jail time because that is abuse – just like it would be abusing a child. Thank goodness for wonderful people but unfortunately, monsters still exist. Let’s help them disappear

  • THANK GOD FOR CARING AND DEVOTED PEOPLE IN THE WORLD. PETS IS DOING A WONDERFUL JOB WITH THERE ALL THE HELP THEY GET FROM THERE WORKERS. PLEASE KEEP UP YOUR WONDERFUL WORK FOR THESE HELPLESS ANIMALS.PLEASE MAKE IT A LAW IN EVERY STATE THAT DOGS CAN NOT BE CHAINED. THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR HELP YOUR DOING FOR THESE HELPLESS ANIMALS. GOD SPEED TO ALL OF YOU AT PETA.

    • Cher says:

      Sue Ann Perry, Yes PETA is doing an awesome job and I am a member of PETA (not a paid worker). So, with that said it takes all of us to became advocates for animals without voices and one way of doing that is by joining PETA and advocate for laws. PETA cannot do this alone, or without monetary funding. If we each do what we can then laws get changed. Go out in your community and be an advocate for animals that you see are abused, sign petitions for change, donate money to PETA or other animal rights organizations, etc. Most of the “workers” at PETA are volunteers… what about you?

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