March 23, 2017
An 11-year Philadelphia police veteran is facing animal cruelty charges and is expected to lose his job over a disturbing discovery at Wissahickon Valley Park late last year, Philadelphia police and the Pennsylvania SPCA announced Thursday.
The arrest of Michael Long, 33, is connected to the case of Cranberry, a pit bull found stuffed in a trash bag on Nov. 23, when a hiker was drawn to the dog by her own puppy.
As the good Samaritan approached the bag, she saw the pit bull's head sticking out and alerted the PSPCA's Humane Law Enforcement Team.
Cranberry, named for the Thanksgiving holiday, was found to be in emaciated condition. She was nursed back to health at a local PSPCA shelter before her adoption in December and has since made a full recovery from her abuse, officials said.
“This arrest today is the culmination of an investigation conducted by our officers and the Philadelphia Police Internal Affairs Unit,” said Nicole Wilson, director of Humane Law Enforcement at the PSPCA. “We look forward to the opportunity to see justice through the courts in this matter.”
Long, an officer assigned to the 18th District, is charged with animal cruelty and possession of an instrument of crime. Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross has suspended him for 30 days with intent to dismiss.