Animal welfare officials in Springfield were investigating yesterday the discovery of 11 emaciated pit bulls clinging to life in a city home.
A spokesman for the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said the agency plans to file animal cruelty charges in the case. Some of the dogs found Monday were about a quarter of their normal body weight.
Puppies that should weigh between 30 and 40 pounds weighed just 7 to 12 pounds. Investigator Christine Allenberg called it “one of the most severe acts of neglect’’ she’s seen.
The dogs are being cared for at a Springfield shelter, but officials say it may take months before they are healthy.
Authorities became aware of the situation when two adult animals got loose and killed a Chihuahua, apparently because they were so hungry.
Meanwhile, the Worcester City Council put off voting on pit bull restrictions after hearing testimony from residents.
Most of the people who spoke at Tuesday night’s meeting were against tougher regulations, saying the real problem is irresponsible owners.
Mayor Joseph O’Brien said the council will take up the matter at its Sept. 7 meeting. The proposal would require pit bulls to be leashed and muzzled when not on their owner’s property. It also requires pit bull owners to place a warning sign on their property and notify authorities if their dog injures or threatens a person or animal.
Proponents say pit bulls are responsible for more bites in the city than any other breed.