Rockford’s Abuser Pleads Guilty

SYRACUSE, NY – The man who abused a pit bull puppy so badly this summer that its jaw was nearly completely severed will be sentenced in November.

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The man who abused Rockford, seen here after his rescue, pleaded guilty this week.

Reginald Stepp, 35, of Milton Avenue, Syracuse, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to felony aggravated cruelty to animals.

Stepp faces six months in jail when he returns to in Onondaga County Court next month.

The puppy, Rockford, was rescued early this summer after Stepp came to Absolute Auto and Audio in Fulton to have his vehicle worked on.

Employees discovered the injured and emaciated dog in the vehicle and rescued him. Stepp voluntarily surrendered the animal.

Rockford’s jaw was hanging by just some skin and tissue, his rescuers said.

He was treated at Fruit Valley Veterinarian Clinic and then taken to Cornell for a special surgery to repair his jaw.

The puppy was adopted by Rachel Dean, one of his rescuers and is continuing his recovery.

In July, Rockford went through five and a half hours of surgery.

Cornell surgeons installed plates and screws into both sides of his jaw; six on either side.