A Massachusetts man is facing felony animal cruelty charges after a pit bull mix was found emaciated, the MSPCA said Friday.
A forever home is being sought for Sophie, a 4-and-a-half-year-old dog surrendered last month by Carl Moglika Jr. of Agawam.
Neighbors told Moglika's condominium management office they could hear Sophie "being hit, and crying in pain," the MSPCA said in a statement Friday.
Officers with the law enforcement division of the MSPCA, the Agawam Police Department and Agawam Animal Control responded to Moglika's home on May 4, finding Sophie severely emaciated.
Sophie was taken to the MSPCA's Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston, where veterinarians found she also had amnesia, a fractured tooth, a thin coat and diarrhea.
The MSPCA says that while the animal is described as friendly and loving, she needs a "very special adopter."
"It was heartbreaking to see Sophie's condition when she first came to us," Mike Keiley, director of adoption centers and programs at MSPCA-Angell, said in a statement. "We've been able to nurse her back to health, physically, but there are still some behavioral challenges that we're working through."
Among those challenges, Keiley says Sophie has a tendency to guard her food or toys by growling, lunging or biting.
"Our team is working hard to help Sophie learn how to communicate with people in a new way," Keiley said. "Having lived in an environment in which normal forms of dog communication were being ignored, she has to learn those skills from the beginning."
The MSPCA is looking for Sophie to be adopted into "an adult-only household with no other pets" by someone "committed to working with a behavior professional to provide the on-going support she needs."
"Despite her history, Sophie has a big personality and is silly and engaging," said Morgan Katz, MSPCA-Angell's director of behavioral services. "She loves being around people and is constantly seeking affection from them. We know that she can thrive in the right home with 'hero adopters' able to continue the behavior support she's been receiving in our care."
Anyone interested in applying to adopt Sophie can do so here.
Moglika is facing two felony counts of animal cruelty filed by the MSPCA's law enforcement division. It was not immediately clear if he had an attorney.