Pit bull found hanging from doorknob graduates to foster care


by Catherine Holland


Posted on October 28, 2013 at 5:37 PM

Updated Sunday, Nov 3 at 1:32 PM

Ryder is "Valley's most beloved pit bull"

PHOENIX -- Nearly a month after she was found hanging from a doorknob, a pit bill named Ryder is on the mend and ready to spend some time in a caring foster home.

Ryder weighed just 28 pounds when Phoenix police found her while responding to a domestic violence call late last month.

“During the initial investigation officers noticed a severely emaciated … dog attached to the door knob of one of the bedrooms with a very large, linked chain as a collar and leash combination,” Phoenix police Officer James Holmes said in a news release. “The chain had been applied so tightly only the dog's hind feet could touch the floor.”

Ryder's condition was so serious, vets were not sure she would survive.

"She's been severely neglected and starved," Arizona Humane Society spokeswoman Ashleigh Goebel said. "You can see every bone in her body."

People throughout the Valley rallied online to support Ryder and the efforts of AHS staffers to save her.

Rally for RyderAccording to the AHS Facebook page, the organization received more 350 "get well" messages and nearly 200 donations in Ryder's honor the first week she was at AHS. Staffers printed the notes people sent them and decorated Ryder's kennel, later calling her the "Valley's most beloved pit bull."

Scared and shy when she arrived at the AHS, Ryder, now up to 50 pounds, "greets the AHS staff with a butt wiggle and tail wag," says AHS spokeswoman Bretta Nelson.

The 2-year-old pittie will spend about a month in foster care. During that time, she'll gain more weight while being socialized and learning proper behavior in a home environment.

Before moving to her foster home Monday afternoon, Ryder will get a special visit from the police officers who rescued her and the detective who is working on her case.

Corina Martinez charged with animal crueltyPolice arrested Corina Martinez, 28, on one count of animal cruelty, which is a class 6 felony in Arizona. She denied being Ryder's owner, but investigators determined that she was the primary person responsible for the dog's care.

Under Arizona law, there are several circumstances that constitute animal cruelty, including both subjecting an animal to "cruel neglect or abandonment" and  failing "to providing medical attention necessary to prevent protracted suffering to any animal under the person's custody or control."

A class 6 felony is considered the least severe. Depending on the circumstances, a conviction for a first offense carries a sentence of four months to two years in prison. While a first-time offender could be eligible for probation, it's not an option for anyone with priors.

If you suspect animal cruelty or abuse in Phoenix or Scottsdale, report it to the Arizona Humane Society by calling 602-997-7585 Ext. 2073 (0 after hours) or fill out a report online. (Click here for numbers to call in other cities.)