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For a Dog Named Lush, a Bad Day in Bishops Corner

Hartford man charged with animal cruelty after leaving his new terrier unattended in a steamy SUV.

For Lush, a 7-month-old pit bull terrier, a handful of water and a dollop of kindness likely averted a cruel fate last week in a steamy asphalt parking lot in Bishops Corner.

Lush caught a break when a watchful shopper outside the called police around 1 p.m. Thursday and said a white and tan dog appeared in bad shape in an unattended Chevy Tahoe with, it turned out, illegal plates and a driver with a streak of arrests.

Lush was apparently in peril because of the sweltering heat until officers Raymond Swank and Joseph Creaco and Sgt. Roger Brancoforte arrived.

“[Creaco] poured a bottle of water into Sgt. Brancoforte’s hand to allow Lush to drink,” Swank said. “Lush was desperate to drink as much water as possible.”

Lush, panting heavily and his body visibly stressed in the midst of a heat wave, was discovered by police sprawled in the backseat of the black SUV.

“After the entire bottle was poured, Lush began to lick the water that had spilled on the asphalt,” Swank wrote in his arrest report.

To the probable dismay of the SUV’s missing occupants, there was an unmistakable odor inside the vehicle, according to the officers.

“Sgt. Brancoforte opened the passenger-side rear door and it appeared the dog was in distress,” Swank said. “The passenger compartment had a very strong smell of feces.”

The shopper who called police told Creaco that a man, later identified as Anthony L. Shipman of Hartford, struck Lush in the SUV before going to the Big Y with a woman. Shipman, 27, whose court record includes a felony conviction for selling drugs, told Swank he smacked Lush because the puppy defecated.

Shipman was charged with cruelty to animals and the misuse of a license plate, which he told police belonged to a cousin. He was released on a promise to appear Aug. 4 in Hartford Superior Court.

Shipman told Swank he acquired Lush three weeks earlier.

Lush was a lucky dog, according to studies. A vehicle’s interior, even with open windows, can heat up to more than 100 degrees in 15 minutes when the outside temperature is 85.

When Lush was rescued, the temperature was 95 and the heat index 108, Swank said, noting accuweather.com.

Lush, perhaps aptly named, was so thirsty after knocking off the bottle, Swank said, that he “was trying to lick the flow of water that dripped from the air-conditioning unit of my patrol car.”

adu July 25, 2011 at 04:21 PM
Kudos to the person who chose to get involved and notify the police about the poor puppy whose life was saved. Why didn't the article say what happened to the puppy? Was it returned to its abusive owner? Was it taken to Animal Control? I'd like to know there was a happy ending to this story and not wonder if the puppy will have to endure future abuse. I think a proper punishment for the owner should be forcing him and his girlfriend to sit in their own feces in an overheated car with the windows shut.......indefinitely.
Ann Vanderlaan July 25, 2011 at 04:29 PM
What happened to Lush? And why was a loser like Shipman released?

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