Two pit bulls in Utica abuse case recovering after eating leather to survive

Vanessa is one of two surviving dogs

Caretakers say the two dogs that survived terrible neglect along Whitesboro Street in Utica, are starting to recover.

The Stevens-Swan Humane Society says the 1 1/2 -year-old dog named, â??Machoâ?? has put on 8 pounds in the past two weeks and is ready to be adopted. The Humane Society is starting to accept applications.

Stevens-Swan PR Director Jerry Kraus said Macho would be best suited for a home that doesn't have young children or other pets since he is rambunctious and enjoys some rough play.

A 5-6 -week-old puppy, â??Vanessa,â?? should be ready to be adopted in a couple of weeks. The society says she is still a little too young to be adopted.

These two dogs were part of a group of eight that were

found starving

inside a Utica apartment two weeks ago. Officers found several dead dogs and puppies as well as several extremely emaciated dogs and puppies. Macho and Vanessa are the

only two dogs

, of the eight found alive, that survived.

Officers said it appeared as though the animals were abandoned. The dogs had been consuming leather shoes as a means to survive.

Sgt. Steve Hauck of the Utica Police Department said it was the worst case of animal cruelty he's seen in 17 years.

Investigators charged the owner Umar Aziz. He is scheduled to be in court on Thursday to face a total of 14 related charges - 8 are animal cruelty charges.