Pet-Sitter Accused of Starving Dog to Death

Police said Carla Bushnell was supposed to be pet-sitting when she starved a dog to death

By Ilana Gold
|  Saturday, Dec 14, 2013  |  Updated 1:53 PM PDT
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Unbelievable Animal Stories: Dog Races Train

Enfield Police

Carla Bushnell is facing animal cruelty charges after being accused of letting a dog starve to death.

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An Enfield, Conn., woman is under arrest, charged with a horrific case of animal abuse. Police said Carla Bushnell was supposed to be pet-sitting when she starved a dog to death.

“That dog was not my pet…he was my son,” said Andrew Zander, the dog's owner.

When Zander got a call from Enfield Police a few weeks ago about the death of his dog, Bandit, he couldn’t believe it.

“I immediately broke down,” Zander said.

Investigators said Carla Bushnell was responsible, according to police.

Zander said Bushnell was a family friend and he asked her to continuously check on Bandit at his apartment. He was away for a few months to help his wife at a Massachusetts hospital.

“There was no reason for my wife or I to have any doubts she would be a good caretaker. She insisted she wanted to take care of them,” Zander explained.

According to police, a postal worker saw mail piling up outside Zander's place in November and became suspicious. The carrier then looked in the window and saw the dog dead on the floor.

Exam results showed there was absolutely no food in Bandit’s system.

Carla Bushnell was arrested Thursday night and charged with animal cruelty. Investigators said she was liable because she made an agreement to watch the dog and Zander left instructions for Bushnell with her name on them on his kitchen cabinet.

“The dog had been starved for at least a month. Carla said in her statement that she was there every day,” Zander said.

NBC Connecticut tried talking to Bushnell after she bonded out of jail on Friday, but she would not answer any questions.

Zander hoped for an explanation.

“I would have rather seen him pass by old age or hit by a car than to starve to death,” he said.

He wants Bushnell held accountable for the suffering his dog went through.

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