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Emaciated pit bull rescued; woman charged with torturing dog

Updated September 17, 2020 - 11:58 am

A “severely underweight” pit bull was taken from her home in December — leading Las Vegas police to arrest a 24-year-old woman — but now the dog is healthy and eating peanut butter with her new family.

Teyanna McClinton was charged in August with a felony count of willful or malicious torturing of a dog, months after an animal control officer found the pit bull, named “Athena,” chained in a backyard and “extremely emaciated,” according to an arrest report. Athena, who was originally named “Nature,” has since been adopted from The Animal Foundation, according to a May social media post from the organization.

McClinton was booked into the Clark County Detention Center on Tuesday in connection with the case, according to jail records. An animal control officer found Athena outside without proper food or water, the arrest report said.

McClinton later told police she struggled to feed Athena because she didn’t have a job and could “barely feed herself.”

Athena was about 23 pounds when she was found, less than half of what she should have weighed, The Animal Foundation said. She gained weight while in foster care before she was adopted.

“Athena now spends her days playing with her brothers and sisters, and enjoying her favorite treat, peanut butter,” The Animal Foundation said.

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Athena was found chained and lifeless in a Las Vegas backyard. She weighed only 23 pounds but she should’ve been closer to 50. She was so thin you could see her ribs and hip bones. When Animal Control officers arrived, she was so thirsty that they gave her water and she drank for three minutes straight. She was too weak to walk and had to be carried out to safety. Athena was rushed to the Animal Foundation where our team began providing her emergency medical attention. She was then transferred to our partner hospitals for follow-up care. After a few weeks in a foster home, Athena started to gain weight. Eventually, she was healthy enough to be adopted to a forever home surrounded by love. Athena now spends her days playing with her brothers and sisters, and enjoying her favorite treat, peanut butter. Stories like this are a direct result of your donations. Even during this unprecedented time, we need your support to continue our life-saving work for animals in need.🐶🐱🐰Be part of #GivingTuesdayNow. Your donations will give those like Athena a fighting chance. Head to our #linkinbio to donate early!💗

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When the animal control officer found Athena in December, she was too weak to walk and had to be carried from the home, the arrest report said.

The Animal Foundation determined that when Athena was first taken, she was “probably in danger of death from starvation,” the report said. Veterinarians believed she was probably emaciated “from being starved,” rather than from a medical condition.

Police in February interviewed McClinton, who said she lived alone at the home with her 6-year-old daughter. McClinton said she started taking care of Athena in June 2019.

McClinton told police she didn’t have time to care for the pit bull because “she would leave Athena and her residence for ‘days’ to go visit her boyfriend,” but that she would return home once a day and feed the dog, the report said. McClinton kept the dog chained to a gate because she had previously dug under the fence and ate some of the neighbor’s garden.

“Teyanna stated Athena was a stray dog but she didn’t want to get rid of her because she had become attached,” the report said.

McClinton was released from custody on Wednesday after posting bond on a $1,000 bail, court records show. As a condition of her bail, she is not allowed to have any animals.

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240. Follow @k_newberg on Twitter.

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