Severely Emaciated Dogs on Road to Recovery
According to Linda Peterson, Director of Gateway Humane Society in Falls Creek, the dogs – a Labrador Retriever mix known as Diesel and a Pit Bull mix known as Nicky – are recovering well.
“They have a long way to go but they’re doing pretty well. They need a lot of time to recuperate,” Peterson told exploreClarion.com.
The dogs were found wandering loose in Jefferson County by a concerned citizen who contacted Jefferson County Dog Warden Jamie Carlson. Carlson picked the dogs up the next day and transported them to Gateway Humane Society in Falls Creek.
“One of the dogs was worse than the other, but they were both pretty emaciated,” Carlson said. “I’m just glad it all worked out, and the owner was discovered and will get his time.”
Officer Carlson discovered that the owner of the dogs was Bert Alan King, 42, of 400 Penn Street, New Bethlehem. Officer Carlson then requested that New Bethlehem Borough Police take over the case due to “jurisdictional problems.”
Chief Malnofsky, of the New Bethlehem Borough Police Department, met with Officer Carlson and Jefferson County Humane Officer Debbie McAndrew on April 2 to further discuss the case.
According to McAndrew, the collaboration between the two counties on the case went very well.
“Chief Malnofsky in New Bethlehem has been great. Once the dog warden reached out to him, he really took the case and ran with it,” she noted.
“Under Libre’s Law, now the slow starvation of a dog is classified as torture, and now it’s a felony. Libre’s Law has done a huge favor for getting justice for these dogs.”
A criminal complaint filed by Chief Malnofsky at District Judge Jeffrey Miller’s office indicates the dogs were starved to the point that their ribs and spine were clearly exposed. Diesel also had overgrown toenails and was having trouble standing.
According to the complaint, Officer Carlson previously spoke with King, and he admitted to owning the dogs and dropping them off in Jefferson County on March 17.
King said that he told his wife that he was taking them to a friend’s house. When questioned about the condition of the dogs, he said he was “having money problems and could not afford to take care of them,” the complaint continues.
New Bethlehem Borough Police Department subsequently filed the following charges against King on April 15:
- Aggravated Cruelty to Animals – Torture, Felony 3 (2 counts)
- Vaccination required; Certificate and Tag (2 counts)
- Abandon Any Dog Within Commonwealth (2 counts)
- Application Dog License/Fees, Penalties (2 counts)
According to Chief Malnofsky, the department needs the public’s help in locating King.
“He’s no longer at the residence where he was living,” said Chief Malnofsky.
Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to contact the New Bethlehem Borough Police Department at 814-275-1180.
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