Baltimore's BARCS sees uptick in animal neglect cases

BALTIMORE - Baltimore Animal Control picked up Sophia from a city street Wednesday.  It's clear the stray dog has had a rough three years of life.

"She is going to require quite a few surgeries to get her to where she's even somewhat back to normal,” said Lisa Morabito, Director of Operations at BARCS .  “She may always have some issues eating, she might always need to eat soft food."

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That's because about three inches of Sophia's lower jaw is missing.  Most of her teeth are broken or gone, and she has bite scars and fresh wounds all over.

"She's very thin, she needs to put on quite a bit of weight, and she's scared. She doesn't appear to have had a lot of human interaction, or at least not positive human interaction," Morabito said.

It's heartbreaking, but Sophia's story is just the latest in a huge spike of neglect cases coming into BARCS .  Just this week about 50 abused animals have been brought in.

And remember the puppy Petunia ?  Two weeks ago she was found in an alley with a severe case mange and skin infection.  Workers say the numbers are noticeably higher than this same time last year. (The dog's name was changed from Deacon, after the street where she was found, to Petunia.)

"They're coming in extremely thin and malnourished, being kept in unsanitary conditions," said Morabito.  "We provide really good care for those animals and give them a better life then they have prior to coming to the shelter."

As for Sophia, workers say it's not clear exactly what happened to her, but they want justice for the loving terrier mix.

"We're hoping that somebody steps forward with information as to what happened to her.  Animal Control is putting out a reward, contact Metro Crime Stoppers if anyone has any information," said Morabito.

That number is 1-866-7LOCKUP.

BARCS is a non-profit and doesn't have the money to care for every animal brought through the doors. They have a special 'Franky Fund' specifically used to treat seriously sick and injured cats and dogs.

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