Police to charge owner who abandoned dog

Related story: 7-year old treated at hospital after attack by large dog

By Elise Franco


North Lima

Beaver Township police said they will file charges today against the owner of a Saint Bernard that was abandoned outside Angels for Animals’ shelter.

Police Chief Carl Frost said the county prosecutor’s office will file a second-degree misdemeanor charge of abandoning an animal.

Frost said although there was another individual in the truck Tuesday night when the dog was left tied to a large trash bin in the shelter’s parking lot, only the animal’s owner can be charged.

The man’s identity won’t be released until he is charged, Frost said.

Kate McDermott, general manager of Angels for Animals, said the dog was illegally abandoned just before 10 p.m. Tuesday.

McDermott said they were able to view the incident thanks to surveillance cameras in the parking lot.

“They tied the dog to the Dumpster and drove away,” she said. “To tie up a dog and drive away and not know the fate of it is inexcusable.”

The next morning, a shelter volunteer arrived to find the 150- to 200-pound animal still chained up, McDermott said.

“One of the first volunteers to arrive noticed the dog, and he walked over to see if the dog was all right,” she said. “He didn’t realize the dog was on a long run, about 25 feet long. When he walked over, the dog knocked him down and bit him.”

She said the employee was taken to the emergency room and is recovering at home.

McDermott said the dog continued to act aggressively toward workers who were trying to bring him inside the building.

She said they used rabies poles and had to sedate him to get him inside.

“He was jumping and growling at us.” she said.

McDermott said it was because of the dog’s extreme aggression that they decided to euthanize.

“Normally in a case like that, we will quarantine it for 10 days, but he was far too aggressive to be safely contained,” she said. “It would have been too risky for our employees to try to care for him during that time.”

This isn’t an isolated incident of abandonment, McDermott said.

Though the shelter has signs posted informing people that leaving a dog is illegal, it happens at least once per week.

“We are not animal control here. People really do need to use the local dog pounds,” she said. “Angels is a private shelter. We only accept dogs through a foster program.”

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