Arrest made after dogs found sick, thin, tethered to basement pole

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– A New Haven woman is facing charges of animal cruelty after police took three dogs in bad condition out of a local home.

Court papers paint an ugly picture of the scene those officers faced when they went into the West Street residence last October.

Tuesday, the suspect in this case, 22-year-old Susan Jennings is saying that she was trying to save the white pit bull mix that she’s now accused of abusing.

This is a case that began last October when DCF officials went to a home on West Street to investigate a family issue.

But according to court papers, while they were there they saw two dogs tied up in the basement, one described as very thin, the other as emaciated.

The dogs were tied to a pipe on a short leash making it impossible for them to sit or lie down.

There was also another dog and a cat in the home.

Susan Jennings

An animal rights advocate in the courtroom for Jenning’s appearance before a judge told News 8 that no dog ever deserves to be treated the way those three were.

Greta Stifel learned of this alleged case of abuse through the website DogsDerserveBetter.org.

“It’s for dogs that are in dire straights that are tethered that are without food and water, basically starving to death or with this case, the dog was so emaciated that it was eleven pounds and it should have weighted seventy, it was horrible and the pictures are absolutely graphic,” said Stifel.

Jennings told News 8 that only one of the three dogs taken out the house was hers, the white pit bull and that the others belonged to another member of her family.

She claims she had just taken in the sickly dog days before DCF came to the house and she was trying to nurse it back to health.

“The one that was mine she came to me sick, she was abused and she was throwing up and popping blood,” said Jennings. “I took her in to help her because I felt bad for her, she became a part of our family and we tried to get her better and there was no way to help her.”

According to a News 8 source, two of the dogs that were taken out of the house had to be put down. We understand the third one has been adopted.

As for Jennings, she faces an animal cruelty charge and faces another appearance in court later this month.

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