Five starving dogs found after allegedly abandoned at vacant East Hopewell Twp. home


When his neighbor called the police for a dog bite, officers discovered an East Hopewell Township man had abandoned his five dogs to starvation, charging documents allege.

George D. Sherwood, 55, who now lives in Peach Bottom Township, left two pit bulls outside and three "pit bull-type" dogs in separate rooms indoors with no furniture, according to documents.

"The walls of the residence were destroyed, and feces littered the floor," police said.

Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Jacob Penhorwood discovered the dogs when he was called to respond to a dog bite in the 1000 block of Wheat Road on March 21, he wrote in charging documents.

Elizabeth Ann Thompson, 48, told state police that her neighbor's dog crossed into her yard, attacked her dog and bit her, according to documents.

She described a pit bull that Penhorwood then found next door with multiple injuries and  attached to a heavy-duty chain and frayed cable, police said.

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According to police, Thompson said she hadn't seen Sherwood for about a week.

Upon a closer look at the residence, Penhorwood noticed another pit bull chained up outside and three dogs inside with multiple cuts and abrasions, as well as visible ribs and spine, he reported.

They had no food or water, except for one "murky" water bowl, police said, and had been chewing on drywall, flooring and electrical wires.

The rooms had 1 to 3 inches of feces and unknown matter "caked on the floor," documents alleged.

A state police dog law specialist said the evidence at the scene was indicative of animal abuse, documents state.

The dogs were taken to the York County SPCA for treatment and some were found to have severe medical issues, including inability to evacuate bowels and worn-down teeth that could cause complications with eating, according to documents.

Police confirmed on March 30 that Sherwood owned the property and the dogs.

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He is facing a felony charge of aggravated cruelty, three misdemeanor counts of neglect of animals for shelter/protection, five summary counts of neglect for sustenance/water and five summary counts of neglect for veterinary care.

Sherwood awaits a preliminary hearing scheduled for May 7 on a $25,000 unsecured bail, according to court records.