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Cops charge woman with pit bull neglect

Shernika Johnson

Shernika Johnson

DULUTH -- Two emaciated pit bulls found caged in a Duluth apartment complex garage are on the mend after authorities investigating foul odors found them last month.

A younger pit bull wasn't so lucky.

Gwinnett police have charged the woman renting the garage at Idlewylde Apartments on Boggs Road -- Shernika Johnson, 30 -- with three counts of animal cruelty. Johnson was booked at the Gwinnett County Jail on Tuesday, where she remains on $33,600 bond.

Gwinnett police and animal control officers responded to a complaint by a property manager at the complex Aug. 16.

Inside the garage, officers found an eight-month-old pit bull puppy dead on the floor, crawling with ants. Elsewhere, two pit bulls (ages 2 and 4) in separate metal crates appeared malnourished and had no access to food or water, according to a police report.

"Inside of the dogs' crates were empty bowls," an officer wrote.

The surviving animals were turned over to Gwinnett County Animal Control for recovery, while the puppy's remains where sent to the University of Michigan to identify a cause of death, the report states.

An exam showed the adult dogs weighed about 30 pounds, roughly half the average weight for full-grown pit bulls, an officer wrote, citing a Gwinnett Animal Clinic doctor.

Officers tried but failed several times to make contact with Johnson. Jail records list her address as an apartment on Castor Drive in Norcross.