PATERSON — A dog found abandoned and near death on a sidewalk Saturday night continues to be nursed back to health, as police say they have few clues as to who left her.

"Reese," a pit bull estimated by vets at the Oradell Animal Center to be 2 years old, was found by a mother and daughter driving on Totowa Avenue near Kennedy High School, Paterson Animal Control officer John DeCando told New Jersey 101.5.

"If it wasn't for these two God-sent people who saw this dog, the dog would have perished during the night. Guaranteed the dog would have died," DeCando said.

The pair brought the dog to police headquarters on Broadway, where they were met by DeCando.

"The dog should have weighed 50 pounds, maybe 60 pounds. The dog only weighed 17 pounds and was all skin and bones. The dog kept getting up and falling over," DeCando said.

Volunteers from the Ramapo-Bergen Animal Refuge picked Reese up and brought her to the Oradell Animal Center, where she continues to recover.

DeCando said he has very little information about who Reese belonged to and how she came to be emaciated.

"We have no suspects. We have nothing," DeCando said. He hopes someone who sees a picture of Reese will come forward because they know the owner.

DeCando has a strong opinion about what should happen to Reese's owner if they are ever found: "The person who did this should go away for a long, long time.

"There's no reason why this should be happening. None. If you don't want your pet, bring it to the animal shelter and let us take care of it. Let us find a home for the pet," DeCando said. "You know what this dog did? All she did was wag her tail and lick my hand as I kept her comfortable until they rushed down here to pick her up. It was thrown away like yesterday's garbage.

"This should have never happened," DeCando said

The shelter's executive director, Megan Brinster, said Reese is currently stable but is experiencing complications from introducing fluids and nutrition after long-term starvation.

"Reese is anemic and may require a blood transfusion. An ultrasound was done, and they believe they saw a tiny, shriveled and non-functioning uterus, due to her severe physical condition. In the future, once stable, Reese will need to be spayed. She will require long term hospitalization and close monitoring to stabilize her medically," Brinster said.

DeCando said anyone with information about Reese's owner should call Paterson police at 973-321-1111.

Abandoned pit bull Reese
Abandoned pit bull Reese (Ramapo-Bergen Animal Refuge)

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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