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.


Responses to "Man found guilty of animal cruelty for abandoning his dog on a mountain in Colorado (Video)"

  1. Anonymous says:

    I would have put him back up the mountain and left him there(man) not dog'

  2. Ruth says:

    Breaks my heart to think of how this animal suffered. How could someone do this to a poor defenceless creature? I hope she isn't returned to her owner. She deserves to be protected, loved, cherished and above all be happy. So sad :(

  3. Anonymous says:

    yeah, hurt his legs and leave his ass up there. see how he likes it.

  4. I read an account that said he DID call the police and they told him there was nothing they could do! This account verified that there was indeed a call that came into the police station about the dog. Most people might give up if the authorities told them it was a lost cause. The least the cops could have done was offer to contact the media to see if anyone out there could help. Why wasn't the cop charged for giving such flip information? IF the account I read is true and he really did contact authorities, I feel sorry for this man and do not feel justice was being served. Animal rights people are all emotion and incapable of thinking rationally, so they create modern day witch hunts w/o getting all the facts! Too bad this man was bullied by sentiment instead of justice, he should have gotten a better lawyer!

  5. Anonymous says:

    the poor dog shou;dn't have been taken up hiking that far in the 1st place...unless the "owner" wanted to actually get rid of her. Good for Missy for finding someone who really wants her & will take care of her.

  6. send him to jail to let him think about it for the maximum amount of time- I can understand saving your own life- but NEVER returning for her??

  7. Anonymous says:

    Even if he did call the police and they told him too bad, he could have climbed up there a second time and helped his dog. It is ridiculous to defend his actions of callousness and irresponsibility. He is a piece of crap who shouldn't be allowed the privilege of having a dog.

  8. Anonymous says:

    He lost his chance to get the dog back. He left the dog to die. That is cruel and horrible. He needs to go to jail and lose the dog.!!!!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Oh yea leave the man up there and hurt his feet. Yes!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Whole bunch of know-it-alls, wise after the fact couchpotatoes. I'm glad Missy is okay and these stupid threats and idiotic comments belong in the trash along with the people who write them.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I think his punishment should be where he has to spend 8 days on the mountain with nothing so he can understand what this poor animal had to endure. Also, he should never be allowed to own another pet.

  12. teresa says:

    Dont put him in jail were we have to pay for him.
    Put him were he has to suffer like his dog did.
    Shame on him.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I am just happy the dog is now safe and is being loved and bless all the guardian angels that gathered around the dog and kept the dog alive..animals could have killed the dog as well as the weather and starvation. A terrible human being to say the least. I hope he suffers thinking about it for the rest of his days.

  14. Anonymous says:

    That the man in jail rotting in there, he must whit now shoows and open feet and legs to just suffering there in that mounhen whit out food are water, and let him die there. thankyou rescue people for the dog, i hope that the dog are healing soon and have a ery good live now whitout suffering

  15. Anonymous says:

    That Man Has No Soul & He Is To Stupid To Own A Dog !
    ............Yes Put Him In Jail............

  16. Anonymous says:

    calling the police is just evasive tactic of responsibility. anybody with any brains know you call forest service or contact the forest service--and he could have gone to media or called state forest rescue or a neighbor gotten help. Mt Bierstadt is National Forest, so he is legally obliged to report his dog going in... so is bs to make claims regarding the police. It is not the jurisdiction of the police. It is National Forest and he knew that.

    National Forest
    you call national Forest rescue or alert them going out.

    there was no real excuse for abandoning the dog an is illegal in national forest-- national Forest has strict rules of "leave nothing behind"

  17. Anonymous says:

    The cops have no brains? The eight people who rescued the dog had no brains? The fact is the owner did try and get help and did unfortunately give up too easily. It's pre-judgemental to claim he didn't want the dog or didn't care about the dog but it was clear he needed more people to be able to help him get the dog down. I would have never given up but I feel many people would have given up in the same situation. The reason the eight people who did rescue the dog was able to get help was through social media. Going back years, what would they have done to get assistance without social media? Apparently they had no brains to call the national forest?

  18. Anonymous says:

    As a hiker/climber myself I know that conditions can change very quickly when you're up there and isolated. That however does not excuse his actions. He could have easily gotten other means of help upon reaching the bottom, that very same day. The sad thing is that, you know that dog would give its life for its owner, loyal to the end. If you aren't willing to make that sort of commitment for your pet (or how I see them brothers/sisters) than you don't deserve the privilege of companionship with one.

  19. Anonymous says:

    i agree w/anonymous break both his legs & take him up the mountain & leave him there........ i know thats not possible so i hope he gets the maximum jail time (which is not long enough as far as im concerned) & make sure he spends every day of that 18 months behind early release 4 good behavior or due 2 overcrowding.. he's a piece f shit & shld b forbiddon 2 ever have an animal again.............

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