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Suspected dog abuse investigated in Johnston

JOHNSTON — Trumbull County sheriff’s deputies and humane officials are investigating the circumstances that may have led to the death of a malnourished pit bull found Sunday at a house in the 4900 block of Warner Road.

Deputies were called about 10 a.m. Sunday to investigate an animal complaint at the home where a couple observed a neighbor’s dog, a brown male pit bull, wander over into their yard. When the animal got closer, the couple observed it to be very malnourished, the report states. The couple called 911 and gave it some food and water.

Lori Shandor, chief executive officer for the Trumbull County Animal Welfare League, on Tuesday confirmed the pit bull’s death.

“It was significantly malnourished and had cancer. The dog was in really bad shape,” Shandor said, noting they had to have the dog euthanized because it couldn’t be saved.

The couple directed deputies to where the dog was kept next door, a small kennel with a children’s playhouse for shelter surrounded by pallets on the ground. No food or water were visible inside the kennel.

A deputy tried to make contact with the owner without success, the report states.

As the neighbor woman brought the dog some food, it struggled to get up and limped to the side of the kennel, the report states. The spine, rib and hip bones were visible as well as a large bulging tumor-like bump on the animal’s rear left leg, the report states.

There was also an open cut or cyst on the dog’s back right hip. The deputy surmised the dog could not use its rear left leg.

A humane agent from the Trumbull County Animal Welfare League arrived and took emergency possession of the animal, according to the report. Shandor said the agent took the dog to an emergency veterinarian on Sunday and then another vet on Monday.

A notice of impound was left on the door of the dog’s owner, which explained the dog was getting medical attention. The deputy took pictures of the animal, which were forwarded to the agent for use in the investigation.

Charges are pending the results of the welfare league’s investigation, the report states.

Reporter Bob Coupland contributed to this story.

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