Person who threw emaciated dog from moving car will face charges, authorities say
PATERSON — Charges are expected to be filed this week against the individual who allegedly threw an emaciated dog from a moving vehicle Saturday.
The small, undernourished shih tzu was taken in by the Ramapo-Bergen Animal Shelter after bystanders saw a vehicle slowing down and someone pushing the animal from the car. The witnesses then called animal control. Officers responded and immediately requested help from shelter workers.
John DeCando, chief animal control officer for Paterson, said authorities are pursuing information that may lead them to the person responsible for pushing the dog - who was named Grant by shelter workers - out of the car. DeCando said the vehicle belongs to a woman in her late 60s or early 70s who is currently in a rehab facility and was not behind the wheel when Grant was tossed onto the roadway. He did not disclose what type of rehab facility the vehicle owner was in or her relation to the person suspected of driving her car at the time of the incident. The motorist, however, is expected to face charges.
"We expect to charge that person very, very shortly," DeCando said.
The individual will face fourth degree charges including inflicting unnecessary pain on a living creature, abandoning an animal on the side of a roadway, failing to provide necessary care to the dog and possibly other offenses as well. He could face fines up to $3,000 for each offense or six months in jail - or both.
“The way I look at it if you abuse a dog you should go to jail, period,” DeCando told New Jersey 101.5.
Passaic County SPCA humane law enforcement agent Jesse C. Traynor said authorities plan to check out an address that matches the license plate registration of the vehicle from which the dog was thrown.
According to Frannie Laurita, volunteer manager at the Ramapo-Bergen Animal Shelter, when Grant was discovered, his fur was soaked in urine and excrement. A GoFundMe page was set up by the shelter to raise money toward the care of the ailing dog, and Laurita said due to the extent of his ailments, the pup could remain in the Oradell Animal Hospital for several weeks. She said caring for Grant will be costly. So far, the GoFundMe page has raised nearly $15,000, surpassing its $10,000 goal.
When he arrived, his red blood cell count was low and required a blood transfusion. Grant is still undergoing additional tests and is being given IV fluids. He is currently on 24-hour medical care, according to Laurita.
"He’s very weak still. He had a blood transfusion, and is on warm fluids," she said, adding that Grant's matted fur had to be shaved off. That, along with his other ailments has caused his body temperature to drop.
On the GoFundMe page, the shelter said "after the transfusion, Grant tried to stand on his own...but due to his very weak condition, is still unable to keep himself up, and his frail legs buckle beneath him."
"He can’t stand on his own yet, but he is getting stronger little by little," Laurita said.
She said the amount of neglect the pup suffered before being rushed to the animal hospital took quite a toll. He will need a lot more medical care, and possibly physical therapy, according to Laurita.
“He’s got a long road ahead of him. We’re hoping his body catches up to his heart," Laurita said. "He wants to be better. He uses what little energy he has to be affectionate."
Toniann Antonelli is a social content producer for NJ 101.5. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @ToniRadio1015.
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