In Vienna's Favoriten district, a Caritas worker who was caring for a woman living in Schleiergasse heard a dog constantly barking for many days.
She worked out that the animal was trapped in the basement, and went around to all the neighbours who had no knowledge of and had never seen the dog.
She then alerted Four Paws, the animal protection organization. According to their employee Isabel Deycmar, the group brought in their official veterinarian, who called the police.
The pitbull was released from its confinement in the basement, and the dog was taken to an animal shelter.
"It was pitch dark in the basement, smelly and trash was everywhere", said Deycmar. "The pitbull was sitting in a suitcase. He is very thin, but doesn't seem to be sick at first inspection."
The dog had been given a piece of wood to chew on instead of food, and had completely demolished it.
Police enquiries revealed a 17-year-old male who lives with his mother in the building had been 'looking after' the dog for a friend who left town.
The boy had no dog training certificate for the animal, which has now been treated by a vet for dehydration. A police spokesman said that investigations are still underway, pending possible charges.
The darkened cellar where the animal was found. Photo: Vier Pfoten/Isabel Deycmar