The MSPCA’s Law Enforcement Department is offering a $1,000 reward for information that leads to a felony animal cruelty conviction in a case that veterinarians are calling one of the worst they have ever seen.
“Glitch,” a severely emaciated, 1-year-old pitbull mix who was brought to the MSPCA’s Angell Animal Medical Center in Jamaica Plain at the end of July, shocked even hardened veterinarians accustomed to seeing sick and dying animals every day.
“This is one of the worst cases of neglect I have ever seen,” said Dr. Maria Brandifino, who examined the dog in Angell’s Emergency and Critical Care Unit. “When he arrived, my first thought was: How could he have even survived this?”
Glitch was brought to Angell at approximately 10 p.m. on July 30 by two people who had found him in Canton, near the Massasoit Community College campus.
He weighed only 15 pounds – 35 pounds less than a healthy dog his age would weigh. Despite this summer’s record-setting heat, he was hypothermic. And he was hunched over so completely that Brandifino believes he had spent most, if not all, of his life confined to a tiny cage.
Glitch immediately was started on intravenous fluids and slowly given food, which he devoured as quickly as he could.
“We’ve had to place him on a rigid re-feeding protocol to ensure he doesn’t gain too much weight too soon, which itself can be very dangerous,” Brandifino said. “But the bottom line is that someone nearly starved this dog to death.”
The MSPCA’s Law Enforcement Department has opened a cruelty investigation and is seeking the public’s help in identifying anyone who may have owned the dog, who is mostly black, with dark brown eyes and white patches on his paws and muzzle. He wore no identification tags when he arrived at Angell and is not microchipped.
Glitch has been moved into foster care, where his recovery can be closely monitored. He remains on a carefully managed re-feeding schedule, and the veterinarians involved in his care are confident he will recover completely.
After that, he will be placed for adoption, and the MSPCA will announce those details in the weeks ahead.
Anyone with information about the dog is urged to call MSPCA Law Enforcement at 800-628-5808.
Any donations that the MSPCA may receive beyond the $1,000 reward will be used for ongoing anti-cruelty investigations.
Animal cruelty is a felony crime in Massachusetts punishable by up to seven years in state prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
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