Neglected Stratford puppies doing well; former owner charged with animal cruelty

Six pit bull puppies rescued from a neglect situation in Stratford last month are on their way to a full recovery, according to animal control officials. Elowen, Heath, Briar, Leif, Aspen and Atlas are already double the weight they were when Stratford Animal Control took them in.
ACO Rachel Solveira told News 12 Stratford Animal Control got an anonymous call on May 29 about a lot of dogs barking, seemingly in distress. Solveira said the responding officer found six puppies in a yard, some of them lethargic and unable to get up, all of them very underweight and soaking wet.
“Our officer rushed them to an emergency vet where they were found to be hypothermic. They had hypoglycemia. They were extremely thin to the point of being emaciated. You could see their ribs,” Solveira explained.
She said the vet also discovered they were loaded with parasites. Each needed round-the-clock medical care from their own nurse and survival wasn’t a given, according to Solveira.
“We were told by the owner that that they were born in Texas where he lives, and he drove them here and was visiting with his mother, and he really didn’t have an explanation,” she said.
Terrell Johnson is now charged with six counts of animal cruelty. Solveira told News 12 he’s been very cooperative.
“Puppies are a lot of work. They’re just like babies, and they need to have a lot of care. They need to be wormed when they’re four weeks old. They need to have their first set of vaccinations at four weeks old, and they need to be fed on a regular schedule. Not doing any of those things is considered neglect, which falls under cruelty to animals,” Solveira explained.
Since being discharged from the emergency center, the puppies have been at animal control, being cared for by Stratford Animal Rescue Society. Solveira said Atlas, who is the runt of the litter, almost didn't make it. He was recently placed in a foster home to allow for extra care and is doing much better, according to Solveira. The other five have seemingly bounced back.
“Their prognosis is excellent. They should be normal happy dogs,” she said.
The puppies aren’t available for adoption yet, but animal control will begin accepting applications for them in a few weeks. Solveira said an announcement will be posted on their Facebook page.
STARS is continuing to raise money for the puppies' medical care. Their initial visit cost $7,000, plus the puppies have ongoing medical care and follow-ups. If you’d like to help out, click here.