One dog literally baked to death in the sun and three others suffered extreme neglect all while their Chester owner was on vacation, authorities say.
The three young pitbulls that were confiscated by Humane Officers are now recovering, said Justina Calgiano, spokesperson for the Providence Animal Center in Delaware County.
On Thursday, the shelter received a call about two dogs left outside for at least two days in brutally hot conditions without water or food, she said.
When Humane Officer Ron Riggle and assistant Sean Rowan, also a veterinary technician, arrived at the home in the 1300 block of Vauclain St. in Chester, they saw a collapsed male Akita chained to a cinder block in the yard.
"He was seizing from the heat," said Calgiano. The two men frantically worked to free the animal. "He arrested in front of them and passed."
The owner who is still on vacation, signed over the surviving animals. The shelter is not identifying her until the investigation is complete and it is determined that charges will be filed, Calgiano said.
Riggle confiscated another dog that was left outside in a wire crate with no water, she said.
The internal temperature of the Akita was 111 degrees, said Calgiano. Steam escaped from the Akita's body when staff veterinarian Kimberly Boudwin started to perform a necropsy.
"She had never seen something like that," Calgiano said.
There was no evidence the dog had been fed; grass was found in its intestines, she said.
On Friday, armed with a search warrant and accompanied by police, Riggle entered the home and found two more dogs in crates, a bearded dragon and fish, said Calgiano.
The dogs were covered in their own feces and had urine burns on their paws and bellies, she said.
The three dogs were given the names Janet, Jack and Chrissy after the hit 1970s TV comedy Three's Company.
The three animals - all underweight and covered with sores - are being fed a high caloric diet and receiving medicated baths. Two are about six months old, the third about eight months of age, Calgiano said.
They will likely be placed in fosters homes so they can be socialized. The reptile and fish, which were in good conditions, are currently with foster homes, she said.
The cost of treating each dog runs about $75 a day. They are expected to be at the shelter for at least three weeks, she said.
"They are very sweet but traumatized," said Calgiano. "They have not been living in normal conditions."
Updates on the trio will be posted on the shelter's Facebook page, she said.
To donate visit http://www.providenceac.org/