Pennsylvania SPCA Investigates Abuse Of Starving Pit Bull

Starving Pit Bull

The York County Pennsylvania SPCA’s executive director can’t fathom why no one alerted authorities that a Pit Bull was being starved to death.

“More people should have cared about her. All of us have a responsibility to do the right thing when it comes to a situation like this,” Melissa Smith said. “It’s rare when this happens that no one knows it’s happening. … People knew this dog was starving.”

The 3- to 4-year-old Pit Bull, who was named Ava  by SPCA staffers, was found dumped in York Pennsylvania’s Bantz Park on Monday evening,

Ava was found by a woman who saw her in the park and notified authorities. The dog, who was very close to death when she was found, was eventually taken to the Animal Emergency Clinic, then transferred to the SPCA shelter, Smith said.

Ava weighed only 27 pounds when was found and was primarily skin and bones. She was also suffering from significant pressure sores.

“If I were to speculate, I would say they’re probably from her being confined to a crate or a cement basement,” Smith said. “We feel very strongly this dog was confined somewhere. Someone was purposely neglecting to give this dog water and sustenance.”

It would have taken weeks for Ava’s body to wither to this point, according to Smith — weeks of what amounted to torture for the dog.

But thankfully however, there is some good news as it appears Ava’s health is slowly getting better and better.

“We’re very pleased with how she’s coming along,” Smith said. “If she had any underlying health issues, they would have presented themselves by now.”

It also appears that Ava might be one of the most popular dogs on Facebook right now.

A “Justice for Ava” Facebook fan page sprouted up to support the dog and to help find the person responsible for her. As of Tuesday afternoon, it had more than 4,800 fans and was gaining more every hour from around the world.

The Justice for Ava owners are keeping fans updated on Ava’s condition and are urging anyone with information on Ava’s owner to call the SPCA at 764-6109, ext. 127. The person responsible for Ava is facing a misdemeanor animal cruelty charge.

Smith said she’s also received some donations to help cover the cost for Ava’s care, “which are greatly appreciated.”

To make a donation, visit

Story by Elaine Furst for Dog Files


  1. Kelowna_mom2006 says

    How could anyone be so darn crule to that poor dog named Ava. they should be treated the same way that they did to that poor dog. and i hope they find the owner and make them pay dearly.

  2. Happyhippo1972 says

    We just got our 1st pit bull.  Her mame is Marcy.  Ours and her prayes are with Ava and all abused animals.

  3. Westiechick2 says

    i know y i dont like humans because of cases like that poor dog .i wanne break this persons face .i never thout i could hate this much ! lord help me !! i pray for a speedy recovery and a wonderful life sweet ava forgive  the human breed ! not all of us this evil !  iam so sorry

  4. P Woolfs says

     Words are easy— Talk is cheap————— have YOU given a donation to this animal hospital ????

  5. says

    i would like to get my hands on the sick bastard that could starve a poor innocent helpless sweet animal like this maybe god can forgive this i know i never could i hope who ever did this rots in hell

  6. MAxxpeck says

    Here, I got something that will make everyone feel so much better:


    See? Doesn’t the thought of a well-played touchdown pass just CURE ALL YOUR WOES???

  7. Joanne says

    someone needs to starve them like they did to her it makes me sick that this is a misdeamenor . Thats what is wrong with the system all these animal abusers get a way with it, someone needs to make this kind of thing a felony and automatic jail time

  8. Angelhimm says

    To this day it still shocks me how these so called ‘dog owners’ can treat something that is a living, breathing, loving creature in such a horrible way. If they ever find out who the owner was, they should be charged with animal cruelty, fined, and serve time in jail, or do public work picking up dog do-do at some kennel. Also be banned from ever owning or going near another dog in their lifetime!!!!

  9. ElaineHasara says

    Oh this breaks my heart!! Poor baby! I’m sure you have lots of people wanting to adopt her. She’s welcome to be loved, pampered and taken to the dog park everyday with me & my 2 dogs..just so ya know. God love her11

  10. Debbiescats says

    this is what happened earlier this year to patrick the pit bull in New Jersey – very sad – what is wrong with people.

  11. Sprecklesdog says

    I saw that picture of her and it made me want to cry and at the same time it made me sick to my stomach that someone would do this to her. Just look at her beautiful eyes and tell me how some heartless person could make her suffer like this.

  12. says

    I actually spotted this graphic with the girl’s but it designed people prefer to cry plus together them designed people suffering so that you can this abs this anyone would probably repeat this so that you can the girl’s. Just simply evaluate the girl’s attractive view plus convey to people the best way quite a few heartless human being could create the girl’s put up with like that.

  13. Amanda says

    The “Justice for Ava” Facebook page is about a German Shepherd. Could you provide a link? I clicked on the SPCA link as well and there was nothing about Ava on their site.

  14. Miss Concheta says

    I just cry and cry, I cannot believe some of this stuff, at all, its such an awful thing,,, death senteceing should be apart of animal cruelty,

  15. Cheryl Coleman says

    This is why I love animals more than people.  Human beings must  be the sickest creatures on the planet.  Animals mostly kill for food whereas people knowingly kill these poor things slowly and deliberately.

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