Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- A neglected pit bull is recovering at the DeWitt Animal Hospital after police say she was found extremely ill by animal control on West Onondaga Street on Monday.
Police say the dog’s owner, 35-year-old Marquette Jamison, has been charged with two counts of animal cruelty.
Jamison spoke with NewsChannel 9 on Thursday and agrees her dog is in a safer place now.
“She was a house dog. She was loved. She was like one of my children. I did everything I could for her,” Jamison said.
Jamison has raised “Crystal” since she was six months old. She says her children grew up loving the dog and she took care of her sicknesses, until the dog became too much for Jamison to handle.
“She started getting sick a few months ago. I noticed that her hip was going out when she walked. I had to carry her in and out of the house so she could use the bathroom,” Jamison said.
After months of her sickness going unchecked, Crystal, renamed Grace by the Dewitt Animal Hospital, is emaciated and has an eye infection. She’s so sick that she’s lost her appetite and won’t eat.
Veterinarians and investigators on the case say the dog has been suffering for months.
“There is really no excuse for abuse or neglect. And this is a very, very bad case of neglect. It's important that we create awareness that there are resources out there available to you; that this is totally unacceptable,” explained Cuse Pit Crew’s Stephanie Higgins.
Higgins started the Cuse Pit Crew
, an organization that can provide help to pit bull owners so their dogs won't end up like Grace did. A resource Jamison says she didn't know existed.
“I had no idea. I absolutely would have called them. I have children, they love this dog it's part of my family,” Jamison said.
But Jamison won't get another chance. The Cuse Pit Crew has already found a foster family to take Grace home once she's recovered.
The DeWitt Animal Hospital is using donation money to find out why Grace isn’t eating. They’ve raised almost $400 so far and started tests Thursday. If you’d like to donate, or learn what resources are available for you and your pet, visit http://cusepitcrew.org/