A tiny three-month-old Maltese Shih Tzu named Snowflake was found unresponsive and starving in a shopping bag Friday by passersby on Staten Island.

The puppy, affectionately renamed by veterinarians at the South Shore Animal Hospital as Charlotte, was barely clinging to life when she was brought to them with a pink bow adorning her head.

She’s in critical condition with a fractured right leg and fractured skull, but she’s making progress.

Her owner was tracked down when news of the unthinkable treatment the little dog had received reached Animal Health Veterinary Group. They had seen the dog before when its owner had brought her in for treatment. Even then, her condition was so bad that the owner, 34-year-old Alsu Ivanchenko, was given the choice of paying for treatment or having Charlotte put to sleep. She had chosen neither.


Although still hanging on, Charlotte has been rendered blind by her injuries. The pink bow found on the dog’s head has been kept in place thus far, so as to avoid further injury.

Ms. Ivanchenko was arrested Tuesday on charges of aggravated cruelty to animals, including torture, injury to an animal, neglect from not feeding her, abandonment of a disabled animal, and carrying an animal in a cruel manner.

A Facebook page has been established for updates and photos of the dog: Charlotte’s Place