Neglected Newark pit bull fighting for life after he's abandoned on doorstep

Rusty is hooked up to an IV, but remains extremely weak. (4/10/14)

NEWARK - A young dog left for dead is recovering in Newark after being found close to death.

Veterinarians at Associated Humane Societies of Newark say the emaciated puppy, believed to be about 10 weeks old, was dumped on a doorstep.

It's the latest example of abuse and neglect involving pit bulls and pit bull mixes that animal shelters deal with every day. 

MORE: Animals in the News

Staff members have named the dog Rusty. He is hooked up to an IV, but remains extremely weak. He arrived dehydrated and severely malnourished, and his ribs were clearly visible.

Rusty weighed just 5 1/2 pounds, which vets say is less than half of what he should weigh.

The puppy was rescued Wednesday night after a man on Tillinghast Street reported finding the emaciated puppy on the front steps of his apartment building.

Photos of Rusty remind some of Patrick, the pit bull mix found in a Newark dumpster in 2011.

Scott Crawford says pit bulls make up roughly 75 to 80 percent of the nearly 3,000 dogs AHS handles each year. "The cruelty, the neglect, the abuse, the exploitation that we see is predominantly for these dogs, unfortunately," says Crawford.

Rusty is spending Thursday night with a veterinarian. The staff says it is doing all it can and the rest is up to him.

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