A dog who, up until recently, was left in a basement without enough food, is now doing well and even entertaining celebrity visitors. Our Kat De Maria was there as Princess the pit bull met Shorty Rossi, the Pit Boss.
ONONDAGA COUNTY, N.Y. -- It was a meeting of celebrities as the Pit Boss, famous for his advocacy for pit bulls, introduced himself to the dog who has captured the heart of Central New York: Princess.
Just more than two months ago, SPCA officials found Princess starving in her owner's basement. They say they were concerned about internal injuries and also disease.
"After testing and everything and so forth, everything came out fine. We brought her back to weight and she's doing great," said SPCA Executive Director Paul Morgan.
Rossi says people are more inclined to punish pit bulls than to the humans who abuse them.
Princess' owner, Wendy Collins, 32, faces charges related to her abuse, but did not show up in court to receive her sentence. Rossi says people have to remember to treat all dogs like they do their loved ones. He says he's glad Princess will not suffer permanently because of her mistreatment.
"Everyone pulled together to make this happen for this dog. She's a very loving dog toward humans and she's going to have a very good life with whomever adopts her," Rossi said.
The next step is to find Princess a home. And, as you can imagine, she's already had a lot of interest.
"That's one of the major problems we have!" Morgan said. "That's always going to be a tough one, trying to feel through all of the applications and make the right decision."
While SPCA officials work to find Princess the perfect home, she's staying at another one temporarily. They say support for the now-celebrity dog has been widespread.
"It amazes me what people will do for animals. It's out there. Our community around us in Central New York is very generous, very compassionate," Rossi said.
"It's a good story. The bad part about it is there's a lot of stories like Princess' all over the country," Rossi said.
Now that she's recovered Princess, like Rossi, can be an advocate for her breed and through her story, other dogs can also have a happy ending.
SPCA officials, meanwhile, are trying to find the person responsible for dragging and killing another dog along Route 81. They've increased the award for any information related to that case to $2,500.
Also, for anyone interested in meeting the Pitt Boss, he is staying in town through Saturday. Shorty Rossi is signing books and screening his dog, Hercules', movie at the Palace Theater from 1 to 6 p.m.