New Castle man accused of puppy abuse

NEW CASTLE, Pa. — A dog was found slashed and locked in a closet in New Castle.

Police say a neighbor heard it and called them.

Because of a brand new dog-abuse law passed last Monday, the dog owner is behind bars, charged with a felony.

Police say the puppy had a broken jaw, chipped teeth, slashed neck and was living in a closet.

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His new name is Wags.

Ever since his rescue last week, Lawrence County Humane Society employees say the 8-month-old pit bull won't stop wagging his tail.

“For all he went through, he's so happy to get love,” Lois Winter with the Lawrence County Humane Society said.

New Castle police arrested Lagentrious Watson, the dog’s owner.

A neighbor inside the apartment complex heard the dog crying and called police.

When they got there, they say the situation was much worse.

“I wasn't afraid to call police, I love animals and had to do something,” neighbor Michelle Borst said.

New Castle police showed only Channel 11 pictures of where they found the puppy.

Police say it was locked in a urine-soaked closet with ropes hanging from the ceiling.

“His throat was slashed,” said Chief Robert Salem with New Castle police.

Just days after Wags' rescue, he's well on his way to recovery.

Under the new law, a first-time offense can be a felony with more jail time.

Two more weeks for Wags’ recovery and then he can be adopted out.

The shelter is already getting lots of calls on him.