Monday, January 24, 2011

Utica police seek owner of dog found outside in frigid temperatures

From The Observer-Dispatch

Utica police are looking for the owner of a pit bull that was found tied to a table overnight at the corner of Whitesboro and Dewitt streets.
Temperatures in Utica dropped below -15 degrees Sunday night.
The male dog is about three years old, police said.
Anyone with information about the dog should call 223-3500.


Update January 25, 2011 8:35pm - The following article is from WKTV:

"Apollo" improves at local vet hospital, no charges yet in case

Donations are coming in from around the globe to help out the dog that was found nearly frozen to death on Monday morning in Utica.

The Stevens-Swan Humane Society has named the three year old pitbull Apollo. They say he is a fighter. He was found 5:30 a.m. on Whitesboro Street on Monday when temperatures were well below zero.

Apollo is still under observation at a local Veterinary hospital, and although he remains very sick, officials say he did improve today.

Apollo's story is gaining attention worldwide. The humane society is receiving donations from across the country and even overseas, from England. Social Networks, like Facebook, are helping to spread the message.

Donations can be sent to:
Apollo’s Fund
c/o The Stevens-Swan Humane Society
5664 Horatio Street, Utica, NY 13502

Utica police questioned a suspect in connection to the case, but no arrests have been made. 

Update January 26, 2011 2:30pm - The following article is from The Observer-Dispatch:

Owner of pit bull found in cold issued appearance ticket

The owner of a pit bull that was found outside in frigid temperatures earlier this week has been charged, city police said.
The owner, who police are not identifying due to the public outcry against the suspect and concern for his safety, was issued an appearance ticket Wednesday through Animal Control officers for a dog running at large, officials said.
Police said the investigation included interviewing and re-interviewing the dog’s owner, the dog’s former owners and speaking with neighbors.
The dog will remain in the custody of the Stevens-Swan Humane Society.
The dog, who was named Apollo by the humane society, was found tied to a table at corner of Whitesboro and Dewitt streets and was suffering from frostbite.

The O-D plans to file a Freedom Of Information Law request with city officials to obtain the dog owner's name.

Update January 28, 2011 - The following article is by Caroline Gable, WKTV:
Neighbors confirm Apollo was Michael Jenkins' dog

A West Utica residence listed to Michael Jenkins, age 48, had a sign on the front door, warning not to knock. But NEWSChannel 2 approached the front door, wanting answers.

Did Jenkins indeed live here? Was the abandoned pit bull Apollo his dog? And did he leave him tied to a table on the corner of Whitesboro Street and Dewitt Street, where he was found frostbitten and badly injured?

When we knocked, a woman lifted a curtain to talk to us, and we started asking questions. The woman denied Jenkins currently living there, or ever having lived there. When shown a picture of Apollo, the woman said she did not recognize the dog, and had never seen the animal before.

The woman identified herself only as a friend of the owner of the building. She said the owner of the building would not be back for a week, but she would not reveal who the owner of the property was. After a few questions she asked us to leave, and we obliged, but not before inviting her out on the sidewalk to talk about Apollo.

Just a few feet away, we found a whole different story. Neighbors right next door, who did not want to be identified, said they recognized the picture of the dog as their neighbor Michael Jenkins' dog. They also said he and the dog lived next door. They were not the only ones who recognized the picture of the brown and white pit bull, a third neighbor said they had seen the dog outside Jenkins' alleged residence, but they did not know Jenkins.

Utica Police will not confirm nor deny Michael Jenkins as Apollo's owner. Jenkins is scheduled to appear in Utica City Court on February 7.

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