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As steadfast dog guardians, trying to comprehend how a person could adopt a dog, bring them into their homes and then starve them, dump them in a trash can and flee the state is a bit hard to comprehend. Okay, more than a bit … completely impossible to comprehend. But nonetheless, the reality is that innocent animals are taken in by irresponsible guardians far too often and forced to suffer in their care.

One dog’s suffering has finally come to an end, thankfully, but the experiences she had to endure to reach a new life are not one that any animal lover would wish on a sentient being. Fawna, the dog, was discovered tied inside a garbage bag by a sanitation worker, Nathan Binnis, who was shocked to see the trash “move” when he opened the lid to a trashcan in a New Stanton, Pennsylvania trailer park. The dog had been left to starve in the trash for six days and was severely emaciated. Binnis immediately called the Humane Society of Westmoreland County for help and fed the shaking pup his lunch while they waited.


When the dog was adopted, she was implanted with a microchip and authorities were able to identify trailer park resident, Nicole Baker, as the person who had so mercilessly abused Fawna. Further investigation into Baker found messages that intentionally misled others who offered to help out caring for the dog. According to Trooper Stephen Limani, ” she acknowledged the fact that at some point in time, she realized what she was doing, she fully knew it was wrong, and still she put a dog, her dog, in a garbage can.”

Life With Dogs


Brittany Prinkey, Baker’s daughter, lives in the trailer next to her mother’s but describes their relationship as “estranged” and was unaware of what was happening to Fawna. Baker had listed Prinkey as a secondary contact for Fawna when she adopted her – Prinkey was unaware of this fact until she was contacted with the news of what had happened.

“I’m super-upset with her. I just don’t understand how someone could do that,” said Prinkey. We’re right there with you Brittany!

Fawna only weighed 17-pounds when she was brought into the Humane Society, a dog of her size should ideally weigh 30-50 pounds. After dumping the emaciated dog into the trash, Baker took off and moved to Texas to be with her boyfriend. Baker is currently facing charges of animal cruelty and disorderly conduct.

While the future does not look to bright for Baker, Fawna has turned a new page and is thriving in the care of a vet tech. Humane agent, Janet Dillon says that Fawna has already gained eight pounds.

Humane Society of Westmoreland/Facebook



The Humane Society has received an outpouring of interest from potential adopters who would love to take Fawna into their homes, but they will have to wait until she is healthy enough to tell. In the mean time, Fawna is having a great time learning to enjoy the finer things in life – check out her trip to the pet store.

Humane Society of Westmoreland/Facebook


Remember, if you suspect animal abuse, it is your duty to report it! Click here for a list of hotlines you can call.