A 37-year-old Manassas woman who left her three starving dogs outside in sub-standard conditions was arrested Friday after a neighbor clued police officers into her behavior, said Tim Neumann, Manassas police department spokesman.
Police arrested Karen Morris, of 9291 Taney Road in Manassas, and charged her with three counts of cruelty to animals, a class one misdemeanor that could land her in jail, police said.
Police are looking for Ira Anderson, 19, of the same address, for cruelty to animals. Police did not know Morris’ relationship to Anderson.
Morris kept three dogs, all pit bulls, in pens in the backyard but did not feed them,
While viewing the yard from a neighbor’s window during a Dec. 9 search, animal control officers saw one of the dogs, a tan pit bull, was dead and being eaten by one of the other dogs, a black-and-white pit bull.
“When our guys went to see them, they could tell things were just awful,” Neumann said. “Apparently the woman never took care of them and were doing what they could to survive.”
From a distance, police could see that the black-and-white pit bull was extremely thin. In the other pen, an older male pit bull was also extremely thin.
The officers then entered the backyard to capture the animals. According to reports, the yard was extremely muddy, including some areas that were two inches deep. There was also a large amount of feces and agricultural lime around the edges of the yard, police said.
The dogs were taken to the Woodbridge Animal Hospital and seen by a veterinarian.
Morris was arrested Friday and charged with three counts of cruelty to animals, two counts of not having a city dog license, two counts of not having rabies vaccination and one count of animals causing unsanitary conditions, police said.
The cruelty to animals charge is punishable by up to a $2,500 fine and one year in prison. The other charges are lower misdemeanors and punishable with fines.
Morris is being held in lieu of $2,000 bond.
Anderson is wanted for cruelty to animals, not having a city dog license, not having a rabies vaccination and animals causing unsanitary conditions. Police are trying to locate him.