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McKeesport fire victim charged with animal cruelty

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By Stacy Lee
Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, 2:46 a.m.
 

A 34-year-old McKeesport woman was charged on Tuesday with animal cruelty after her injured, underweight dog was found after a house fire.

Juanita Mitchell also is charged with failure to have a dog license and failure to have proper dog vaccinations.

A Rottweiler and a pit bull mix were rescued from the blaze on Thursday at 8:54 a.m. by first responders at 2709 Palmgreen St. in McKeesport. While the pit bull mix ran away, the Rottweiler was examined by dog enforcement officer Ken Ferree.

He said the Rottweiler was tied up with a rigid frayed cable that cut into the canine's neck, causing injury. Ferree said the dog was 35-40 pounds underweight.

“The dog was very skinny and in poor shape,” he said.

“I did cite on failure to provide adequate nutrition and necessary veterinary care was for the dog being underweight and having the infected laceration on its neck,” Western Pennsylvania Humane Society humane officer Cathy Bricker said.

Ferree issued the other charges.

He turned the Rottweiler over to White Oak Animal Safe Haven; then the canine required emergency surgery at White Oak Veterinary Clinic.

“The dog is doing very well,” White Oak Animal Safe Haven president Ina Jean Marton said. “She's at a foster home. They keep cleaning her neck and it's healing.”

She said while many people have offered to adopt the Rottweiler, she has to recover more.

Marton said she is pleased that many responded positively to help the canine with donations for her veterinary care.

The fire is under investigation by the Allegheny County Fire Marshal's Office. The American Red Cross assisted Mitchell and her three children with food, shelter and clothing.

Stacy Lee is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1970, or slee@tribweb.com.

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