• Woman charged with severely neglecting pit bull


    PITTSBURGH - Pittsburgh police have charged a North Side woman for on suspicion of neglecting her pit bull.

    Shawna Johnson was in court Thursday for her preliminary hearing, but had nothing to say to our Channel 11 camera.

    WPXI news reporter Mike Holden went back to Johnson's Orleans Street home where, in May,  neighbors called 911 to report a dog in the basement that appeared to be starving. 


    Investigators said when officers arrived, they could hear the dog whining through a basement window.

    Officers moved closer and spotted the emaciated pit bull, with its ribs and hips poking through its skin, investigators said. 

    The dog was on a leash, with nowhere to move around, investigators said. 

    Officers said there was visible feces covering the basement floor and no clean space for the dog to lay or sit. 

    One neighbor said the dog had been down there for at least two years. 

    “That is still up for investigation. Certainly alleged charges. We certainly intend to fight these charges,” defense attorney Nicole Nino said.

    Johnson's hearing was postponed because the officer in the case had another commitment.  A new preliminary hearing date has not yet been set. 

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