Cola, abandoned for a year in a house This story absolutely defies all logic! Cola, a pit bull, was left abandoned in a house at 3405 N. Michigan, Saginaw, MI, a year ago when his owner moved out April 2007. I first brought this sad story to you in August of 2007, and then he’d already been abandoned for four months!

The owner’s girlfriend would occasionally stop by to feed the poor dog, not too often as you can see from his emaciated condition, but seldom was the dog ever let out of the house for exercise. The house was covered in filth and reeked of waste.

Since last May, neighbors have begged and pleaded with Saginaw County Animal Care Center to help. In June of 2007 Saginaw County Animal Care Center Director Mark Wachner said center staff members inspected the house but could cite the owner only for not having a dog license, not animal cruelty since the dog appears to be well fed. In August neighbors Rose King, 55, with her daughter Rebecca, 10, and another neighbor, Samantha Burkey, 10, picketed the house to draw attention to the plight of the dog. They carried signs asking drivers to honk if you want to ’save the dog.’Cola finally rescued from his year of soliatry confinement

Now, after eight more long months in solitary confinement, the poor dog has finally been rescued!

“It was constantly barking,” neighbor Kellie Burkey said. “But it hardly barks now. It doesn’t have the energy. It has to be close to dead by now, with bones sticking out and sores on its legs.

“I called everyone, but no one wanted to deal with it. It’s sad to wait until it gets to this point before anyone do anything about it.”

Peeking through the house’s windows, neighbors could see that Cola had shredded the remaining furniture and was living in its filth. A rank odor hung over the residence.

A neighbor called police Thursday morning. Carrollton Township Police Officer Kip J. Humpert contacted the house’s owner and advised him to visit the house. The owner never showed.

After obtaining a warrant, Animal Care Center Director Mark A. Wachner and officers broke down the front door, releasing a stench. Officers led a docile Cola, emaciated and shaking, outside, where he vigorously drank several bowls of water.

While inspecting the house, officers discovered several books and magazines on dog fighting.

Wachner said a veterinarian will evaluate Cola’s health.

“We’ll see what condition he’s in, then go from there,” he said.

Whether the owner will face charges, Wachner said, will depend on the veterinarian’s diagnosis.

“It’s a cruelty case,” he said. “We’ll pursue it. There’s a lot to do yet, and the investigation is still pending.”

Carrollton Township also will determine whether to cite the owner for code violations.
Regardless of the legal ramifications, neighbors are glad Cola is gone.

“The neighborhood kids are going to be so happy to have him out of there,” Rose King said. (

This whole thing just boggles the mind! Yes, laws are laws and are in place for a reason but to leave any living creature to suffer for a year is unconscionable, especially when caring and concerned neighbors did anything and everything they could do to try to get authorities to rescue this poor dog.  He could have died and no doubt his spirit died a little more every day.

Laws need to change when something like this can occur!  There is no excuse for that poor dog to have been abandoned for a year! The owner should face serious charges but most likely this will be just another case of ‘slap on the wrist’  mentality and he will face little punishment.

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