Philadelphia police officer charged with abandoning starved dog in a trash bag

An 11-year veteran of the Philadelphia police force was arrested Thursday on charges of putting an emaciated dog in a trash bag and dumping her in Wissahickon Valley Park last November.

Michael Long, 33, of the 8200 block of Michener Avenue, was charged with two misdemeanors for animal cruelty, one misdemeanor count for possession of an instrument of a crime, and one summary charge of animal cruelty, according to the Pennsylvania SPCA.

Long is assigned to the 18th District. He has been suspended by Police Commissioner Richard Ross for thirty days with the intent to dismiss, the Police Department said in a statement.

On Nov. 23, a woman who was hiking with her own dog discovered a garbage bag with a pit bull's head sticking out and contacted the SPCA. The dog was wrapped up in a bed sheet.

The dog, who was named Cranberry, has been returned to health and was adopted by a Chester County man, said Nicole Wilson, director of Humane Law Enforcement for the shelter.

"She is currently living a happy life in suburban Philadelphia," said Wilson.

She said the sheet found with the dog provided a clue.

"There was a search warrant that we executed in a very short period of time and we discovered a sheet that matched the sheet that was recovered from Cranberry," said Wilson. 

Wilson said she was disappointed that a member of law enforcement was involved in the case.

"He is the exception," she said.

In this case, members of the Police Department came forward to see these charges were brought and justice was done, she said.