3 charged with torture of severely matted dog

James David Dickson
The Detroit News

Three people were charged on Monday with torturing a dog who was severely matted when found Halloween along a road, the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office said.

Christoper Penn, 36, Sonja Sturdivant, 49, and Demick Knight, 21, each face one count of torturing an animal, a felony that comes with a possible four years in prison.

The dog, Elvira, who is a Shih Tzu mix, was rescued Oct. 31. Her name was given by workers who provided emergency care after the dog was found near 16 Mile and Harper in Clinton Township by the Macomb County Animal Control. They took the dog to Advanced Animal Emergency in Clinton Township, where workers gave her the name Elvira.

When the dog was found, it had “developed mats of hair so thick as to nearly completely cover the face,” according to a statement from the Prosecutor’s Office. Those mats of hair were soiled with dirt and feces, preventing “the free flow of air” to Elvira’s skin, the statement said.

Staff at Advanced Animal Emergency found many more horrors once they shaved nearly a pound of matted hair from the sickly pup: a missing foot, a massive ulcer causing blindness in her left eye and fractured tibia.

“I see a lot of scary things. ... This is one of the top ones I’ve come across,” said Keyshia White, a veterinary tech who helped treat Elvira when she was brought in.

Elvira also has broken bones in her back legs. Those bones were never treated after being broken, the statement said.

Macomb County Animal Control Chief Jeff Randazzo was unavailable for comment. Staff at animal control said the case had been turned over to the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office, which was not available for comment Monday evening.

Arraignment will be at 41-B District Court in Clinton Township. No date has been set.

To donate to Elvira’s care, go to https://payments.g2gcloud.­com/MacombCountyAC/599.

jdickson@detroitnews.com