A Cumberland County woman is now facing charges after allegedly leaving two dogs tied up outside in freezing cold temperatures, where one was later found dead. Officials say this type of situation, unfortunately, comes up almost every winter.
As a 9 year-old Jack Russell, named baby, is examined by staff at the Cumberland County SPCA, officials there say she is lucky. “Fortunately, we found her in time.” Authorities say she was rescued from the Millville backyard where she spent the night in below-freezing temperatures, along with another dog - her mother that died. “I think any longer out there, she may've also died,” said Bev Greco, Executive Director of the SPCA.
Authorities say they were called to the McNeal Street home Friday morning, and found the dogs had inadequate shelter to protect them from the elements. “My daughter went out to feed them and when she came in she was crying and she said the one was so cold it actually jumped up in her arms,” said Linda Karcher, who lives next-door. Neighbors say there where issues at the home, but wouldn't elaborate.
No one answered while we were there, but authorities say the dogs' caretaker, 30 year-old Cheryl Smith, is now facing a slew of animal cruelty and neglect charges. “We have been on that property before for violations in the past,” said Greco, “there hasn't been anything that was enough that would actually seize the dogs.”
Officials say that the sad reality is that when the temperatures dip this low, the get a lot of calls about people leaving their pets out in the elements. “If you see animals that don't have proper shelter, don't wait until the weather conditions are extreme,” said Greco, “and that can be both heat and freezing temperatures, you know, get that call into your local SPCA so they can get out there and correct the situation, before something like this happens.”
Meanwhile, baby, will remain at the SPCA where she'll be treated for several medical issues, which officials say she should be able to recover from, before ultimately being put up for adoption.
Officials say veterinarians are working to determine the cause of death for the older dog, but do believe the extreme temperatures were a contributing factor.
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