Man who abandoned dog on mountain charged with animal cruelty

On Friday, August 17, DogTime.com reported on a German Shepherd dog who was abandoned by his owner during a hike on a 14,000-foot mountain in Colorado.

Anthony Ortolani (center, in orange jacket) and his dog Missy.

According to CBS 4 Denver, the Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Office charged the dog’s owner, Anthony Ortolani, with animal cruelty.

Ortolani took his dog Missy for a hike on Mount Bierstadt — a trail that was rated too difficult for a dog. He took his pooch anyway, and after the animal’s paws were torn bloody from the treacherous terrain to the point where she could no longer walk, Ortolani abandoned his dog (an incoming storm also contributed to his decision).

Once off the mountain, Ortolani called the sheriff, but they told them they could not mount a rescue operation.

Missy was found six days later by hikers Scott and Amanda Washburn. Unable to carry the 100-pound dog down the mountain themselves, they patched up the dog’s feet as best they could and left her with food and water. As soon as they were off the mountain, they organized a search party, and the dog was later brought to safety.

The dog spent eight days on the mountain.

After Missy was rescued, Ortolani came forward to claim the animal — but not so fast, say the rescuing party. They feel he is unfit to have the dog.

“Personally, I don’t believe that he deserves the dog back,” Scott Washburn told CBS 4. “He left that dog for dead and his efforts were pretty minimal in trying to get the dog back.”

Yet, the court will have the final word on the issue.

“The court will decide whether the dog owner gets the dog back,” Sgt. Rick Safe of the Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Office said. “Or [she] will be put up for adoption.”

Ortolani’s court date is October 16.

Source: CBS 4 Denver