Portsmouth Man Convicted of Cruelty to Animals for Starving Dog to Death

PETA Volunteers Discovered Live Dog Trapped With Pit Bull’s Emaciated Corpse in Hidden Crate in Defendant’s Backyard

For Immediate Release:
September 24, 2013

David Perle 202-483-7382

Portsmouth, Va. — Portsmouth resident Adriane Mason has today been found guilty of cruelty to animals for starving to death Dynasty, a 4-year-old pit bull, and depriving her of emergency veterinary treatment. In February, volunteers with PETA’s Community Animal Project visited Mason’s residence while delivering straw bedding to “outdoor dogs” and discovered that a plastic crate—which had a doghouse pushed up against it in an apparent attempt to hide the animals inside—contained not only Dynasty’s lifeless, emaciated body but also a male pit bull mix named Blue, who was still alive and trapped in the crate with Dynasty’s remains. The Portsmouth Police Department responded to the scene, and Dynasty’s remains and Blue were eventually relinquished to PETA. 

The group submitted evidence of what the dogs had endured to the Portsmouth Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, including the findings of the veterinarian who performed a necropsy on Dynasty, who had been suffering from “severe malnutrition and starvation” for months and weighed less than 35 pounds—far less than a normal, healthy weight of 50 to 60 pounds. The veterinarian also found pieces of straw in her stomach—evidence of her attempts to sustain herself—and noted that she had also suffered from an untreated, fractured femur that had never healed. Blue, the surviving dog, suffered from malnutrition, and his white paws were stained yellow from being forced to stand in urine-soaked straw. After PETA provided Blue with veterinary care, he was transferred to the Virginia Beach SPCA, from which he was quickly adopted.

“Adriane Mason allowed Dynasty to starve to death slowly as she tried desperately to sustain herself with pieces of straw while her friend, Blue, helplessly watched her waste away,” says PETA Director Martin Mersereau. “Studies show that a complete disregard for an animal’s well-being is a warning sign of a dangerous lack of empathy for all other living beings—including humans.”

Photos of Dynasty and Blue as well as their veterinary reports are available. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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