YONKERS, N.Y. - A pair of animals that were abandoned and left to starve to death in Yonkers got justice this week, when their former owner was arrested and charged with animal cruelty for her role in a dog’s death.
On Monday, following a two-week investigation, Ernest Lungaro, the Director of the Humane Law Enforcement Unit of the SPCA of Westchester -- with an assist from Yonkers Police Officer William Pataky -- announced that Christina Harris, 23, was arrested in Yonkers for her role in leaving behind a pit bull and cat in her Cliff Street apartment.
According to the SPCA, the Yonkers Animal Shelter was alerted about a dog in distress near Van Cordlandt Park, and when first responders arrived at the residence, they found “a brindle-colored pit bull mix, wrapped in jackets and near death from apparent starvation." Veterinarians treated the pup - whose hips, ribs and spine were visibly noticeable through its skins - but he never regained consciousness.
During the investigation, it was discovered that Harris had also left behind a cat in the apartment. Lungaro could not be immediately reached for comment about the arrest on Tuesday afternoon.
The cruelty was brought to the attention of officials through a program offered by PETA, which offers a reward that leads to arrests and convictions on cruelty charges of people responsible for crime against animals. Harris has been charged with two counts of abandonment and animal cruelty.
“This senseless and cruel death could have been avoided if someone reported the cruelty,” SPCA Executive Director Shannon Laukhuf said in a statement. “If you suspect that an animal may be abused or abandoned. We encourage you to call the SPCA’s confidential hotline at (914) 941-7797.