By Maria Papadopoulos
Photo: Darren Hand of Brockton Animal Control, and Brockton Police Officers Peter Spillane and Jimmy Smith load a dead pit bull into the Animal Control van on Sunday. A total of four pit bulls, three living and one deceased were removed from the yard at 1007 Montello St. in Brockton. All of the animals were severely malnourished and had been left outside without water on a day where temperatures reached the 90s.
Emily J. Reynolds/The Enterprise
BROCKTON —The small, brown pit bull lay dead on its right side, surrounded by flies and squalor in the side yard of the Montello Street home late Sunday afternoon.
Minutes earlier, Bryant Monsanto, who was helping his father move from a first-floor apartment, had seen the dehydrated dog gasping for air.
She was among four pit bulls that had been left, by a third-floor tenant, in the side yard without water or food Sunday, when temperatures hit 91 degrees in the Brockton area, police and witnesses said.
Monsanto said he saw the dog about 4 p.m. and climbed through a first-floor apartment window to try and give the dog water.
Within an hour, she was dead.
“Oh my God. Who the (expletive) can do that to dogs, to animals? Come on,” Monsanto, 36, said, pointing to the lifeless dog. “How can you do something like that?”
Animal control officers are investigating after responding to 1007 Montello St. about 5:30 p.m. Sunday. Police responded to the three-family house after receiving an animal complaint.
When officers arrived, they found one dog dead and three others in very poor condition, said Brockton Animal Control Officer Darren Hand.
“The conditions I’ve seen today are not acceptable,” Hand said. “They’re just not. I would never have my pet that I love in those kind of conditions.”
Minutes earlier, Hand and Officer Peter Spillane went through the side yard – which is littered with debris – to remove the three remaining dogs.
With his gun drawn, Spillane stayed vigilant as Hand used a catch pole to secure the dogs by the neck, and take them, one by one, to a white Brockton Animal Control van.
The dogs, which Hand said have not been socialized, barked and cowered away as Hand approached them. One dog screamed and Hand tried to calm him down while walking him to the van.
Police said the dog owners will likely face animal cruelty charges.
Police were told that the dogs are owned by Monje Joseph, 26, who lives on the third floor. An unidentified woman who later arrived at the house told The Enterprise she lives on the third floor and said they’re “not my dogs.”
Joseph had not been charged by Sunday.
Animal control officers had been called to the house earlier this year for issues of cleanliness, Hand said.
Sunday afternoon, the dogs were kept in squalor, amid piles of junk and empty aluminum pots. The dead pit bull lay a few feet away from broken glass and appliances, old mattresses, broken furniture and plastic barrels, and waist-high grass. A mouse scurried from underneath the debris.
One brown pit bull was tied to a fence, another brown-and-white pit bull with few teeth sat inside a pen.
Hand said he would contact the MSPCA law enforcement division to report Sunday’s case. The BCI unit of the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Department also responded to take photographs.
Neighbors on Sunday decried the animal neglect.
“It bothers me because if they want an animal in the house they should treat them well,” said Manny Andrade, 62. “You can’t have an animal if you don’t know how to take care of it.”
Kisha Debrito said she has lived next door “for years and always heard the dogs in the back and nobody took care of them.”
The dogs, she said, barked constantly and were always tied up and always outside.
“That’s not right. I love animals and I don’t think that’s right,” said Debrito, 19. “It’s messed up.”