Demand Jail Time for Alleged Drug Dealer Accused of Starving Dog

Target: Stephen Zappala, Jr., Allegheny County District Attorney

Goal: Punish drug dealer who allegedly neglected a dog to the point of starvation and death.

A severely emaciated dog was recently rescued during a police raid on a suspected drug house. The three-year-old pit bull-mastiff mix, named Reggie, was 30 to 40 pounds underweight when he was found. The dog was transferred to the Pittsburgh Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center where he was kept in critical condition. While veterinarians were able to stabilize Reggie after three days of blood transfusions, he came down with pneumonia and other complications soon afterward. Because Reggie’s body was too weak to fight off the infection, he had to be euthanized.

According to Shelter Director and Director of Governmental and Community Relations Mary Withrow, Reggie spent his last days surrounded by loving, attentive staff. Withrow and local authorities took the opportunity to encourage citizens to report signs of animal abuse as soon as possible. Had authorities gotten wind of the abuse and rescued Reggie even a week earlier, there is a good chance that he would be alive today.

Especially considering the prevalence of animal rescue groups and shelters in the area, the alleged neglect by Reggie’s owner is inexcusable. Long before he reached the point of starvation, Reggie should have been taken to a shelter with the resources to properly care for him. Sign the petition below to demand that the person responsible for this shocking and torturous negligence be punished to the fullest extent of the law.


Dear Mr. Zappala,

During a recent multi-agency crackdown on drug dealers in Pittsburgh’s Mon Valley, a severely ill and emaciated dog was found. The three-year-old dog, named Reggie, was taken to an emergency veterinary center where he underwent several blood transfusions. Reggie’s condition stabilized before taking another downturn as pneumonia and other complications set in. Unfortunately, the dog was too weak to recover and had to be put out of its misery.

Reggie’s death could have been prevented entirely has his callous owner surrendered him to an organization better equipped to care for him. Instead, the man allowed the dog to suffer for months until it was on the brink of death. Not only did the accused inflict great suffering on Reggie, but upon the families and loved ones of the people he sold drugs to. We, the undersigned, ask that you seek to punish the person responsible to the fullest extent of the law.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Amy Crawford, West Pittsburgh Humane Society

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  1. Shelli Schmidt says:

    Too busy cooking meth or whatever this dude was shooting or snorting they only care about themselves & nothing else…This wasn’t a quick death, he lingered in agony. Poor Reggie didn’t stand a chance.

  2. This stupid creatin should b charged with at least 90 counts of animal cruelty. It took months for this poor dog to starve, and each day that this sadist did not feed or care for this innocent creature. He should be properly charged and 90 counts with the maxenalty for each count sounds appropriate.

  3. RIP Reggie. You are no longer suffering.

  4. Joyce Alvarez says:

    Enough already with this abuse of animals. Quit giving these sociopaths a slap on the wrist. It’s a daily occurrence anymore. Pass laws for stiffer penalties. It will be a person, a child, next time. These poor animals suffer terribly.

  5. Justyne Catalano says:

    Animals can’t speak up, WE HAVE TO BE THEIR VOICE!

  6. Will they prosecute this guy for animal abuse or slap him with the court’s usual “warning” or misdemeanor. The court system fails time and time again, this guy WILL own animals again, will abuse them again, WHY do I pay taxes.

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