In a case that enraged animal lovers last month, animal control officer Kristen England discovered a Pit Bull that had been hogtied and left to die in a muddy field in Bakersfield, Calif.
Fortunately this dog’s story has a happy, Hollywood ending: She was rescued yesterday by the Jason Debus Heigl Foundation, an animal rescue founded by actress Katherine Heigl and her mother. The dog will be rehabilitated and eventually placed in a loving home.
Named in honor of the animal control officer who first rescued her, England was found unable to move, with boot laces binding her mouth and legs, and a heavy chain around her neck.
Kern County Animal Control spokeswoman Kim Rodriguez told the Bakersfield Californian that the animal control officer was “shocked and horrified” when she saw the dog. “Our hope is the dog can be rehabilitated and adopted,” Rodriguez said. “If it can’t be rehabilitated, then rescue groups have the means to care for the dog.”
Tips led police to England’s owner, James Worley, who was arrested April 26 on suspicion of felony animal cruelty. An online petition urging the district attorney to prosecute Worley to the fullest extent has collected more than 1,900 signatures as of May 6. It will be presented to the district attorney and the judge handling the case.
In a press conference held on May 4, Katherine Heigl announced that her foundation was rescuing England, and she will also work with Last Chance For Animals (LCA) to prevent animal cruelty, offering rewards for people who provide information about animal abusers.
“The thing is that you don’t want to give up on these animals,” Heigl said. “Just because they’ve been through what they’ve been through doesn’t mean that they can’t have an enjoyable, happy, loving life.”
The Jason Debus Heigl Foundation was created by Heigl and her mother in memory of Katherine’s brother, an animal lover who died in a car accident. The foundation rescues dogs and works to increase awareness of inhumane treatment to animals.
Heigl starred in the TV series “Grey’s Anatomy” and the movie “Knocked Up.” “Killers,” her latest movie that co-stars Ashton Kutcher, opens on June 4.
Sign the petition to insist that England’s abuser receives the maximum sentence!