Area Man Accused of Animal Neglect Due Back in Court Next Week
Court documents indicate a hearing for 31-year-old Eric Scott Lepley is scheduled to stand for a preliminary hearing in front of Magisterial District Judge Jeffrey C. Miller at 9:00 a.m. on September 22.
Lepley faces the following charges:
– Neglect of Animals – Shelter/Protection, Misdemeanor 3
– Neglect of Animals – Vet Care, Summary
– Cruelty to Animals, Summary
He is currently free on $5,000.00 unsecured bail.
The charges stem from an investigation into a report of abandoned animals.
Details of the case:
According to a criminal complaint, a known witness informed Clarion County Sheriff Rex Munsee on March 27 that two dogs had been abandoned in a house in the Parker area.
The witness reported she had not seen the owners of the dogs in weeks, and the dogs were shut inside an abandoned house without food or water. The woman named Eric Lepley and a known woman as the owners of the dogs, but was unable to provide a new address or phone number for Lepley. She said she had looked in at the dogs, and they were starving, according to the complaint.
Sheriff’s deputies from the Clarion County Sheriff’s Office then went to the residence where they found the doors locked and no vehicle in the driveway. They were able to hear barking from the dogs, and one of the deputies then looked through a window on the back door of the residence. The deputy saw the dogs had no food or water present and were “living in their own feces.” Both dogs also allegedly appeared skinny and malnourished, the complaint indicates.
While attempting to find the owners, police discovered the known woman had passed away in February. They then attempted to contact Lepley via Facebook, according to the complaint.
Sheriff Munsee was contacted by Trooper Doverspike, of the Clarion-based State Police, on March 30, and arrangements were made to rescue the dogs and transport them to Tri-County Animal Rescue Center the following day.
On March 31, the Trooper Doverspike contacted the Clarion County Sheriff’s Office to report he had spoken to Lepley, and Lepley had stated the dogs were his and had given permission for police to enter the house and rescue them.
The dogs were then rescued from the house and transported to Tri-County Animal Rescue Center where they were immediately taken to a veterinarian for treatment.
Lepley returned a call from Sheriff Munsee on April 1. He reportedly admitted the dogs and residence were his and said he’d been having money and transportation problems since his wife’s death. He said that he thought he’d been at the house a week prior and told police he was “manning up and taking responsibility for the dogs.” He was then advised he would be receiving charges related to the dogs’ conditions, the complaint states.
The charges were filed through Magisterial District Judge Jeffrey C. Miller’s office on Tuesday, April 7.
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