Police arrested two New Britain residents after receiving an anonymous complaint in June about a neglected dog in a cage in their backyard and finding a pit bull there with maggots and an infected collar wound.
The dog named Champ, about 2 years old, is not registered to anyone, but police charged Syra Santana, 43, and Wilfredo Andino, 43, with animal cruelty charges on July 17. Police spent nearly a month researching who owns the dog, as the dog didn't have an identification chip and the couple claimed he belonged to their son, according to New Britain Police Sgt. Paula Keller. Officers ultimately held the couple accountable because they own the 541 South Street single-family home where police found the pit bull, she said.
The dog's collar was on so tight when police found him that it irritated and infected the skin. Police also found maggots living on the pit bull.
Police took Champ to the vet and have him into their care at New Britain's dog pound since the June 21 incident and he's doing much better, according to New Britain Police Sgt. Paula Keller. After giving him antibiotics and baths at the pound to wash the wound, Champ's infection cleared up within two to three days and his fur grew back, she said.
Champ's future home depends on what's decided in court in New Britain. If a judge orders Santana and Andino to permanently surrender the dog, New Britain's pound will put him up for adoption to find him a new home.
Santana and Andino were each charged with one count of animal cruelty, a Class A misdemeanor. They were released from custody on $5,000 bonds are scheduled to be arraigned in court on July 31 at 10 a.m., according to the state judicial website.