Humane Society officers Saturday morning removed nine malnourished and sickly dogs, including six puppies, from a McKeesport home after police arrested the resident on drug charges, officials said.
"The puppies were very slow, very lethargic," said Ken Ferree, McKeesport's dog law enforcement office and owner of Ferree Kennels. "The entire time police and myself were there, not one peep. Usually, puppies are active, playful, frolicking. Not these dogs. They looked like a death-warmed-over pile of sick puppies, and that's literally what they were: a pile of sick puppies in a cage."
Officers discovered the dogs in a home in the 1400 block of Packer St. around 10:30 a.m.
Police have identified the resident of the house as Donald L. Jackson, 38.
Officers found the six pit bull puppies in a cage in the kitchen, said Ferree and Western Pennsylvania Humane Society officer Amber Chapman.
The mom had missing fur and mange, a skin disease caused by parasitic mites, Chapman said.
Two adult male dogs, a pit bull and a pit bull-American bulldog mix, were tied up in the back yard, Ferree said.
The dogs were friendly, Ferree said, and officials suspect they were neglected, but not physically abused. There were large bags of dog food, but the owner apparently stopped feeding them, he said.
Ferree said the dogs are so skinny that their ribs, hip bones and tail bones are visible.
The dogs are being cared for at the Humane Society's North Shore shelter (1101 Western Ave).
It's not clear if the puppies will survive, Chapman said. They are about 8 weeks old. "They are so dehydrated and emaciated, the vet is nervous," she said. "They have sores all over their bodies, missing fur - they were covered in so much urine you could actually peel it off."
Police said Jackson was sent to the Allegheny County jail after failing to post $20,000 bond.
According to police, Jackson is scheduled to appear before District Judge Eugene Riazzi jr. on September 30 for a preliminary hearing regarding charges filed on September 21 by McKeesport Police.
Channel 11’s news exchange partners at TribLIVE contributed to this report.