Officials at the Corrine T. Smith Animal Center have received several leads on where the pit bulls rescued Monday had previously lived.

After the story about the two nearly-starved dogs appeared in Tuesday’s Bulletin, Cheryl Campbell, executive director at the animal center, said a caller who recognized the dogs from the picture said they had been kept chained in a yard on Third Street, but the owners had moved and the dogs had not lived there for a while.

“We have some leads that we are pursuing,” Campbell said. “We would like to have the message conveyed that cruelty to animals is a serious offense — and one in this case that could have been prevented.”

The female pit bull rescued Monday has died, Campbell said.

The two starving dogs, a male and female, were apparently dumped on Country Club Road either late Sunday or early Monday, and the female was hardly able to stand by the time she was rescued. Both animals’ ribs, backbones and hip bones protruded from beneath their fur. The dogs could have been starved for days before being dumped and hadn’t been cared for properly in months, Campbell said.

“But what is still so surprising, is that at one time, someone spent a lot of money on these dogs.”

The male, who was somewhat stronger than the female, is doing better and available for adoption. In fact, at least one prospective owner has made arrangements to “look at” him today at the center.

Also, Campbell said, she had been notified that several pit bull rescue organizations do exist.

“He’s a really sweet good dog, really gentle and good-natured,” said Amy Abernathy, a kennel technician at the center.

“Really lovable, which is not what you’d expect from that kind of dog, especially one that’s been abused the way this dog obviously has,” said Campbell.

“This dog was chained for most of its life, you can tell from the mark on its neck,” she said.

“He’s just one dog, but something about him, realizing how he must have been abused, it would be good to think he was saved and made someone a good pet.”