One of the two severely emaciated puppies found dumped near a baseball field in a New Jersey park Monday has died, officials tell NBC 4 New York.
The 6-month-old male pit bull mix and his sister were found by a jogger at East Side Park in Paterson early Monday morning. The pups, named Bugsy and Bunny by animal hospital staff, barely weighed 14 pounds when they should have clocked in at a healthy 50, according to officials.
When officers arrived at the park, Bunny was standing over Bugsy, apparently trying to comfort and protect him.
Bugsy could not stand, and hospital staff were treating him Monday and trying to help him recover before finding him and his sister a new home. But on Tuesday, Paterson animal control said the puppy had died.
Bunny is continuing her recuperation, officials said.
Veterinarian Paul Sedlacek of the Animal Clinic of Morris Plains told NBC 4 New York Monday: "This is an extreme, extreme case of neglect."
Animal control officials said it appears the young dogs had been starved for months and were likely days from death when they were dumped near the baseball fields.
"We see dogs running on the streets for a period of time that don't look this skinny," said Sedlacek. "I'm concerned, were they in someone's possession and not being fed before they were released?"
A $1,000 reward is being offered for information leading to who abused them.
"There's no such thing as bad animals in the world. There's bad people that allow it to happen," said John DeCando of Paterson Animal Control. "This has got to stop."