A Pittsburgh man is the latest to be accused of animal abuse, as experts warn about an uptick in cases across our region.
Paris Lundy, 35, is facing charges after police allegedly found him abusing a dog at his South Side Slopes apartment on Sunday.
According to investigators, an anonymous caller reported hearing an animal crying in pain shortly before 6 p.m.
An arriving officer located a female husky puppy and allegedly saw Lundy kick her in the face.
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The dog was bloodied, swollen and thin enough to see her ribs, according to court paperwork.
“It’s absolutely heartbreaking and unacceptable what this animal went through,” said Pittsburgh Police Officer Christine Luffey, who specializes in animal neglect and abuse cases.
Lately, she said reports have been increasing, included but not limited to animals tied outside without food or water, abandoned animals or physically abused animals.
“It’s becoming almost overwhelming,” she said. “It’s very sad.”
Animal Friends, which rescues, rehabilitates and rehomes animals, is also reporting a disturbing trend.
The organization’s data shows that in the first six months of 2022, their officers have responded to 245 cases of abuse and neglect, which is a 120% increase from all of 2021.
“We’ve been seeing a huge jump in cases since COVID,” said Officer Mark Jones, Animal Friends Community Resource Officer and Humane Society Police Officer.
Jones said they’ve seen a spike in cases of animal hoarding, lack of veterinary care and neglect. He urges anyone who is struggling to take care of their animals to reach out for help. You can contact Animal Friends or donate by visiting https://www.thinkingoutsidethecage.org/.
Meantime, Luffey urges anyone who sees, hears or suspects animal abuse to come forward and report it. She is grateful for the anonymous caller who helped alert officers to the husky who was allegedly being abused by Lundy.
“Animal neglect and abuse is a crime,” she said. “Give that animal a voice. Many animals suffer in silence. We need to be their voice.”
The injured husky was transported to Pittsburgh Veterinary Specialty & Emergency Center, where she remained for treatment as of Monday afternoon.
Lundy is charged with cruelty to animals and aggravated cruelty to animals. Channel 11 knocked on his door on Monday, but no one answered.
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