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UPDATE: Woman Confesses To Cutting Off 8-Week-Old Puppy’s Ears

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By Syma Chowdhry

UPPER DARBY, Pa. (CBS)–Thanks to the hard work of Delaware County SPCA Humane Investigators Bill Vernon and Ron Riggle, the person responsible for cutting the ears of Pit Bull puppy dubbed as “Van Gogh” has confessed to the horrible act of animal cruelty.

The dog was found nearly bleeding to death on Wednesday near the 69th street station in Upper Darby.

Kristina Murphy, 19, of Havertown confessed to the act in a statement on Thursday afternoon.

Murphy originally claimed to have found the dog under the 69th Street Bridge in Upper Darby last Wednesday. She then transported the puppy to Stoney Creek Veterinary Hospital in Morton for treatment at the advice of local animal activist Buzzy Miller.

According to the her statement, “It was around 11:45 I pick up (the) puppy from (a) breeder. He had fleas and scabs on him. I took him home to clean off the scabs and fleas. I was cutting old scabs off when I cut his ear off. I panicked and cut the other one. I wrapped his head so the bleeding would stop. I said I found him so he could get medical care that I could not afford.”

Buzz Miller is the founder of PACT for Animals and says this act of cruelty is a sign of dog fighting.

“They cut the ears off, so they can’t grab them in a fighting ring.  A dog this small can be used as a bait dog.  It would be completely destroyed, horribly.”

On Friday morning, Delco SPCA Humane Investigators transported 10 pets from Murphy’s apartment and brought them to the care of the Delaware County SPCA, including 2 Chihuahuas, a German Shepherd Dog, a Beagle/Yorkie blend and a kitten. Additionally, Murphy relinquished ownership of various reptiles and exotic birds.

Dr. Kelly Slattery performed surgery immediately after the 8-week-old puppy was rushed to Stoney Creek Veterinary Hospital in Morton.

Dr. Slattery said it was a heart breaking scene when the dog arrived.  She said the puppy was yelping in pain and on the brink death.

“With him being so young, and getting cold and getting weaker, it would have been a matter of hours,” she said.

He has been given a nickname: Van Gogh.  “We couldn’t help ourselves with the whole ear thing,” Dr. Slattery chuckled.

Luckily, Van Gogh is expected to have a full recovery and his hearing will not be affected.

A criminal complaint of animal cruelty against Murphy will be filed early next week through the District Attorney’s office.

According to Kate Mackey, Operations Manager at Stoney Creek Veterinary Hospital, they have two potential homes for Van Gogh after his ears fully heal and are not accepting any more applications.

“The puppy is doing really well,” Mackey said. She noted that he is receiving cold laser therapy on his ears to help with the pain and healing, and a surgery was performed last week to clean up his ears.

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