Rescue group says newly adopted pit bull died after suffering physical, sexual abuse

This undated image shows Cargo, a 5-year-old pit bull, who is believed to have died after suffering physical and sexual abuse. (Ghetto Rescue, Facebook)

(Meredith) – An animal rescue group in California believes a female pit bull died from physical and sexual abuse just two weeks after being adopted.

Someone dumped the 5-year-old pit bull, named Cargo, in front of a house in Florence on Monday, KTLA reported. A microchip showed the dog was adopted from Orange County Animal Care on July 23.

The resident who found Cargo said she called the Ghetto Rescue Foundation, a nonprofit animal rescue group in Anaheim Hills, after she couldn’t reach animal control officials.

Rescue members transported the pit bull to a veterinary clinic, where she received care before dying on Tuesday.

“Cargo passed away about one hour ago, and we are in tears,” the group announced on Facebook. “She was comfortable and on pain medication. The only thing we can be thankful for is she did not die on the sidewalk alone. Other than her vagina trauma nothing was obviously wrong.”

“She had no external injuries and none were seen in Xray,” the post continued. “While writing this post we were informed that her aorta was ruptured. Vet suspects trauma to the chest area.”

The Los Angeles Police Department’s Animal Cruelty Task Force has launched an investigation, according to the Orange County Register.

LAPD Detective Al Erkelens told the newspaper she cannot confirm Ghetto Rescue’s allegation of sexual assault but it will be investigated, as well as the aortic rupture.

“There are two possible crimes, bestiality which is a misdemeanor and intentional injury to the dog that was meant to inflict pain, suffering or death to the dog,” Erkelens said. “If (someone) did something to cause the aorta to rupture, that is a felony.”

The animal shelter, which had previously named the dog Valerie, said the person who adopted her is no longer eligible for future adoptions. The shelter also said it's working with authorities.

"Our staff and volunteers are deeply saddened to learn of her passing and the alleged circumstances involving her death. Valerie was with us for three months and was loved by many," Orange County Animal Care said in a statement.

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