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New Eagle couple allegedly abused 2 pit bull puppies in their care

| Thursday, March 27, 2014, 1:06 a.m.
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Trooper, a 13-week-old pit bull puppy, is being treated for stab wounds by humane officer Cathy Cunningham. The puppie's owner, Kimberly Watts of New Eagle is accused of stabbing the animal after it bit her 2-year-old daughter, who police say was unattended.
Submitted
Sadie Belle, a 13-week-old pit bull puppy, recently underwent surgery for a fractured elbow, according to humane officer Cathy Cunningham. The puppie's owner, Danny Watts of New Eagle, is accused of throwing the animal against a wall.
Dan Watts
Kimberly Watts

A New Eagle couple is accused of abusing two pit bull puppies.

One of the dogs allegedly was stabbed after it bit Kimberly and Danny Watts' 2-year-old daughter, who police said was unattended at the time.

Kimberly Watts, 26, and Danny Watts, 25, both of 135 Union St., were each charged Wednesday with cruelty to animals, endangering the welfare of a child and disorderly conduct.

Monongahela Magisterial District Judge Mark Wilson issued warrants Wednesday for their arrests.

However, the couple were arraigned Wednesday evening by Magisterial District Judge Ethan T. Ward of Buffalo Township.

Each was sent to the Washington County Correctional Facility in lieu of $5,000 bail.

They face preliminary hearings 10 a.m. April 8 before Ward.

Monongahela police Chief Brian Tempest said officers were called to the couple's Ave & Belle Estates mobile home 3 p.m. Saturday for a report that a young child had been bitten by a pit bull.

The Watts' daughter was taken to an area hospital, where she received stitches in her lip, Tempest said.

Kimberly Watts initially told police she grabbed a knife and started to stab the male puppy after it bit her daughter.

The woman said she stabbed the animal because that's what she “was taught do.”

Tempest said the puppy was in another room, bleeding from numerous stab wounds.

“The puppy wasn't aggressive at all,” Tempest said. “We were under the impression she stabbed the puppy to protect her child, but she stabbed it after she yelled at it and it went into another room.”

Police noticed another puppy in the home limping badly.

Danny Watts allegedly told police the second puppy, a female, was injured while tussling with the male dog.

However, a witness told police Danny Watts threw the male dog against a wall.

“Basically, he told the witness to lie to police if anyone asked about it,” Tempest said of Danny Watts.

Humane officer Cathy Cunningham took the dogs and obtained emergency veterinary care for them. She said the puppies weigh about 15 pounds each and are about 13 weeks old.

Cunningham said the male, which she named Trooper, is quarantined under her care.

She said it is recovering from two stab wounds to the head and eye area, one to the elbow and two to the back. The dog has two fractured ribs.

The female, which she named Sadie Belle, underwent surgery for a fractured elbow.

“She was badly injured, and it appears like she was thrown against a wall or another hard surface,” Cunningham said. “The most important thing is they're alive.”

Cunningham said the dogs are doing well despite their injuries.

“Their temperaments are precious and sweet,” she said. “They were a little leery at first, but they are very loving, typical puppies.”

Cunningham said once the puppies are nursed back to health, she will seek “loving” homes for them.

Cunningham is a volunteer humane officer with Call and Report Inhumane Cruelty and Abuse of Animals Today.

The nonprofit corporation is accepting donations for the medical expenses for the puppies. Donations, payable to C.R.I.C.A.A.T., can be sent to P.O. Box 117, Washington, PA 15301. More information is available on the organization's Facebook page.

Stacy Wolford is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-684-2640 or at swolford@tribweb.com.

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