Man who left his dog on Colorado mountain pleads guilty to animal cruelty
In August of this year, Anthony Ortolani went hiking with a friend and his 5 year old dog, Missy, on Mount Bierstadt in Colorado. As they were descending the mountain, the weather quickly deteriorated and his dog had injured her paws and could not walk.
Ortolani said that at first he and his friend tried to carry his dog down the mountain but that he then had to abandon her in order to help his friend get down the mountain in the worsening weather. However once he was down the mountain, he made no further attempts to rescue his dog or to get help for her.
Missy was eventually rescued after 8 days of suffering on the mountain alone when another hiker stumbled upon her. Once rescued, she was treated by a veterinarian, and then was taken into the custody of Clear Creek County while animal cruelty charges were investigated and then charged against Ortolani.
After several weeks in a kennel at Clear Creek County Missy was then handed over to John Steed, one of the people who had gone back up the mountain to rescue her. It was at this time that Ortolani initially wanted Missy back, but then said he changed his mind and agreed to let the dog go to the rescuer.
Ortolani was just recently found guilty of animal cruelty for his actions of abandonment. He could spend as much as 18 months in jail and faces a fine of $5000. His sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 20th, 2012.