Advocates claim CCSPCA failed to rescue dog in Central Fresno

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- There are now multiple animal abuse investigations after a dog was found dead at a home in Central Fresno.

Some advocates say the Central California SPCA failed to rescue the animal. The CCSPCA says it's still sorting through what happened. A German shepherd was found choked to death Wednesday. It was trapped by the chain around its neck after hopping a fence. An animal control officer was there but witnesses say the officer didn't step in to help.

An Action News viewer sent a photo of the German shepherd that was found dead Wednesday. It was taken Tuesday and used in complaints to the CCSPCA and police department. The viewer's fears were realized Wednesday when the dog was strangled at the home after hopping a fence. Neighbors and animal activists had complained dogs on the property were living in awful conditions.

"Half the time the dogs don't have no food or water," said neighbor Josie Barrientez. "My daughter feeds it over the fence because we have two dogs."

Fresno police say an animal control officer requested back up reporting the dog was hanging from a wire, feet on the ground, but unable to move.

"We got here about six minutes after receiving the call," said Lt. Joe Gomez. "And when they went in there the dog was dead. Looks like it strangled itself, probably."

Neighbors say the animal control officer did nothing but wait until FPD arrived.

"What we do know is the animal was outside the property and somehow went back to the property," said CCSPCA spokesman Walter Salvari. "That's when the officer went to the front of the house and the side of the house to see how to get into the property."

"They failed miserably," said Becky Holly of the Fresno Bully Rescue. "And they failed this poor animal."

Holly and other advocates are demanding answers about this. "I was just sick, disgusted and feeling hopeless that something could have been done for this animal and wasn't," she said.

The CCSPCA says it has authority to enter a property to seize a dog only 48 hours after it's cited the owner. That was the case when a pit bull, chained up and infested with ticks, was rescued from that same home Monday.

The German shepherd, neighbors say, showed up just hours later. They complained it was chained up and left with no food or water.

Animal control can step in if there is immediate danger. "There is protocol that we have to follow and authorization and approvals," Salvari said. "We're still waiting to see if that's what the officer was waiting for instead of stepping in and saving the animal's life."

Fresno police and the CCSPCA are still searching for the person responsible for leaving the dogs in such poor conditions. Once found that person could face serious animal abuse charges.

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