A starving, abused pit bull was so malnourished she ate her own puppies, according to authorities in Hernando County, Florida.
Covered in scars and wounds, the dog, named Chi Chi, was too sick to walk when a sheriff’s animal enforcement officer found her, the department said.
The officer was responding to a report of a resident who said he had been bitten by a pit bull running loose in the neighborhood, the sheriff’s department said in a statement.
The officer went to the owner’s home and found three pit bulls, two of which were heavily chained, and a third, Chi Chi, covered in marks and too weak to move. The female was so emaciated that her ribs protruded from her chest, and her ears appeared to have been chewed down to nubs, the officer said.
One eye appeared to be swollen shut.
“This dog was so malnourished that there was evidence that she had given birth to puppies and actually cannibalized those puppies, which is hard to even imagine,” Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis told WFTS-TV in an interview.
The two other dogs were restrained and had no water, but were in relatively good shape, Nienhuis said.
Chi Chi was taken to an animal shelter and is currently receiving medical attention, he said.
The dog’s owner, Deandre Goodson, 21, was charged with one count of animal cruelty.
He told authorities Chi Chi had gotten loose and had been attacked by other dogs, but he did not take her to a vet, the department’s statement said.
He said he had fed the dog and didn’t know why she was so skinny. He also said she had given birth to two puppies about two weeks ago, but had eaten them, the sheriff’s department said.