Former officer pleads guilty to dumping emaciated dog in trash bag

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A former Philadelphia police officer has pleaded guilty to animal cruelty charges after a dog was found dumped in a trash bag in November 2016.

Michael Long was sentenced to serve one year of probation and has agreed to never own a dog again as part of his plea.

Long was facing a number of misdemeanor charges after his dog, Cranberry was found by a Good Samaritan who had been hiking in Wissahickon Valley Park just two days before Thanksgiving that year. The Good Samaritan told police she and her dog had come across a garbage bag, and as they got closer, realized Cranberry had been inside.

MORE: Philadelphia police officer charged with abusing, abandoning dog | Woman finds dog abandoned in trash bag in Wissahickon Valley Park

Pennsylvania SPCA officers responded to the scene and recovered the dog, getting it the medical care it needed. Cranberry was emaciated, but quickly made a full recovery and was placed in a new home just a few weeks later.

“The PSPCA’s Humane Law Enforcement Team, and everyone who cares about animals and their welfare, should count today’s guilty plea as a victory,” said Nicole Wilson, PSPCA Director of Humane Law Enforcement. “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. 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.”

Under Libre's Law, which passed in 2017, Long's charges could have been felonies, as opposed to the misdemeanor charges that resulted in probation.