A New Jersey dog owner was charged with animal cruelty Tuesday after her emaciated pet was found eating the carcass of another dog in a vacant property in February.
Heather Thistlewood, 37, previously lived at the property where the two dogs were found. She abandoned the dogs without food or water in the house. It was, however, not known for how long the canines were in the property.
In February, the officials reached the property after they were contacted by a person who had heard the dog barking. They saw one of the dogs, a young beagle/boxer mix named Ruth, eating the carcass of the other dog.
Connie Waller of the Salem County Humane Society said, “She was eating the carcass of a dead other dog that they had, and the people had moved out and just left them,” CBS Local reported.
Ruth weighed 29 pounds when it was taken in by the Salem County Humane Society. The pooch tested positive for Lyme disease. Ruth now weighs about 35 pounds and will be up for adoption after a clearance by the veterinarian. The organization was looking for donations to look after Ruth.
“She’s very sweet, she’s just really sick and skinny. But she’s going to be okay, and that’s the big thing,” Waller said, the New Jersey.com reported.
“She seems to be a little bit afraid of men, because obviously, men have abused her,” Waller said, adding, “She’s going to make someone a wonderful pet.”
Meanwhile, Thistlewood was set to appear in Pilesgrove municipal court on Wednesday while the investigation into the incident was ongoing. She faced multiple charges including “animal abandonment, failure to provide care and abandoning a disabled animal to die in a public place.”
In a similar incident in January, a Florida man was arrested after his dogs were found eating one another. Officers found five pit bulls in 54-year-old Genar Smith’s home. The canines were “deprived of sustenance.” While three of them were placed in a medium-sized cage, two others were chained to the ground. One of the dogs in the medium-sized cage were feeding off another dog, which had died. While most of the dead dog’s skull and neck was eaten off, another one’s tail too was bitten off. The dogs were “considerably malnourished” and there was no food or water around them.