Syracuse woman charged after investigators find emaciated dog

Princess at the SPCA shelter / Photo by Chris McGrath

A Syracuse woman is facing animal cruelty charges after SPCA officials say she may have starved her dog.

CNY SPCA Executive Director Paul Morgan tells CNY Central the SPCA rescued Princess the pit bull mix from a home on Oak Street Tuesday night. The dog was living in the basement of the home.

Morgan says Princess is supposed to weigh about 50 pounds, but she only weighs 25. The dog is extremely emaciated, and it is easy to see her ribs poking through her skin. Morgan says tests for viruses that usually cause a dog to lose weight, like parvo, have come back negative ."When you test an animal and it comes back negative," Morgan says, "now you're saying to yourself, how could this happen. The reasonable conclusion I can come up with is that she starved it. And I hate to say it, but that's what it seems like to me."

Princes is now being cared for at a local veterinary hospital. SPCA workers say tests on her kidneys and liver look good. She is being fed small amounts of food to help her recovery, but it will take a few months.

Princess is not available for adoption right now.

The dog's owner, Wendy Collins, 32, is facing two charges of animal cruelty. She is charged with failure to provide proper sustenance and failure to provide vet care. She is scheduled to be arraigned on November 28th.

Collins told investigators she couldn't afford food for herself, so she couldn't feed her dog.

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