Sister of Nizah Morris pleads for return of pet dog

Bradley Brown, a sister of Nizah Morris, is pleading for the return of her pet Shih Tzu, “Chyna.”

On June 23, Chyna went missing from Brown’s residence in the Wynnefield section. A woman who found Chyna took her to a local animal-control facility, and Chyna’s new owners reportedly refuse to return her to Brown.

Brown said Chyna was given to her about eight years ago, to help her cope with the loss of her sister Nizah.

She said the entire Morris family bonded with Chyna, and they’re devastated by her absence.

“We’re all heartbroken,” Brown told PGN. “Chyna is a member of our family. She really helped with the healing process, after we lost Nizah.”

Morris was found with a fatal head injury in 2002, after a “courtesy ride” with Philadelphia police.

Brown, a former police officer, identified Morris’ body at the city morgue. The trans woman’s homicide remains unsolved.

Brown said she contacted police, knocked on doors and displayed posters after Chyna went missing last month.

Additionally, Brown registered Chyna online with a national lost-pet database, she said.

On July 4, Brown learned that Chyna was taken to Animal Care & Control Team of Philadelphia (ACCT). Subsequently, Brown was informed that Tiny Paws Rescue, a nonprofit, obtained Chyna from ACCT.

Brown said Tiny Paws contacted her and assured her she could regain Chyna after paying $350.

After Brown gathered the money and got back in touch with Tiny Paws, she was informed that Chyna’s new owners refused to part with her, Brown said.

Donna L. Amareld, operations manager at Tiny Paws, said Chyna’s new owners legally purchased Chyna from Tiny Paws. Amareld said Chyna was under her care for several days at her residence in Lower Bucks County, prior to the sale.

Amareld didn’t provide details regarding the date of the sale.

“We have a contract with them [new owners],” Amareld added. “I can’t make them part with the dog.”

Tiny Paws legally obtained Chyna from ACCT and was permitted to sell Chyna, Amareld emphasized.

Amareld said Chyna’s new owners have bonded with her. She declined to identify the family, citing their privacy rights.

Brown said she’ll gladly pay any necessary fees to ensure Chyna’s safe return.

“I love my dog,” Brown said. “I haven’t been able to get a decent night’s sleep since all of this happened. My whole family feels the same way. The kids are driving me crazy about Chyna. None of us can rest easy until Chyna is back home, where she belongs.” 

Previous articleOut & About: July 22-26
Next articleSmithson forges ahead in quest for new trial
Tim Cwiek has been writing for PGN since the 1970s. He holds a bachelor's degree in history from West Chester State University. In 2013, he received a Sigma Delta Chi Investigative Reporting Award from the Society of Professional Journalists for his reporting on the Nizah Morris case. Cwiek was the first reporter for an LGBT media outlet to win an award from that national organization. He's also received awards from the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association, the National Newspaper Association, and the Keystone Press.