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