A former Philadelphia police officer has pleaded guilty to dumping an emaciated dog in a trash bag at Wissahickon Valley Park in November 2016.
Michael Long, 34, of the 8200 block of Michener Avenue in East Mount Airy, entered a negotiated guilty plea to a single count of cruelty to animals March 9 and was sentenced to serve a year of probation, according to court records. He was also ordered to never own a dog again.
The dog Long abandoned — which Pennsylvania SPCA officials named Cranberry because she was found so close to the Thanksgiving holiday — has found a loving, fur-ever home and is doing well, according to a PSPCA news release.
Long, an 11-year veteran of the department, is among 29 people who are named on a list of current and former city cops whom prosecutors have tried not to call in court because of the allegations of impropriety against them. Long was put on the list because of the animal-cruelty charge.
Cranberry, a pit bull, was found in a garbage bag with just her head sticking out by good Samaritan Barbara Adam, who was out walking her own dog in Wissahickon Valley Park. Adam carried Cranberry a mile to a nearby street.
“There was so much sadness in her eyes,” Adam said.
She flagged down another good Samaritan to wait with Cranberry as she called PSPCA Humane Law Enforcement. Those officers took Cranberry — who was little more than skin and bones at the time — in for medical care.
PSPCA officials worked with the Philadelphia Police Department’s Internal Affairs Unit to investigate and bring charges.
A sheet that was wrapped around Cranberry allegedly helped lead authorities to Long.
After his arrest in March 2017, Long was suspended from the department for 30 days with the intent to dismiss. A police spokesman confirmed Thursday that Long had been fired.
“While we may never know why this brutal crime was committed, we have an admission of guilt, and perhaps most importantly, Cranberry’s life was saved,” Nicole Wilson, PSPCA director of humane law enforcement, said in a news release. “We are proud to report that she now lives in a safe home where she is loved and will never be the victim of such cruelty again.”