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Pennsylvania dog owner faces cruelty charges; pet abandoned at airport up for adoption – USA TODAY

A Pennsylvania dog allegedly abandoned by its owner at Pittsburgh International Airport is up for adoption, while the owner is being charged with animal cruelty and neglect.
The Allegheny County Police Department, which found the male dog “unattended in a stroller” in the airport’s short-term parking earlier this month, in a social media post, said the dog was up for adoption and that charges have been formally filed against its owner for “intentionally” abandoning the dog.
“We can now share charges have been filed against the dog’s owner,” read the police statement. “Investigators determined (the owner) intentionally abandoned the dog near short-term parking before boarding a plane to a resort destination in Mexico.”
The police are charging the dog’s former owner with animal cruelty, neglect and abandonment. Charges have been issued via summons.
The owner’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for October 16, an Allegheny County police spokesperson told USA TODAY.
It is illegal to abandon a dog under Pennsylvania law.
On August 4, police responded to a call early in the morning that a male dog “was found unattended in a stroller“.
Officers attempted to use the dog’s microchip but failed to contact the owner.
The owner tried to take her brown-and-white male French bulldog with her on a flight departing from Pittsburgh International Airport, authorities told The Associated Press. But the dog was denied boarding by the airline because it did not meet the criteria for an emotional support animal and did not have a proper kennel as required, the AP reported.
Security camera footage showed the owner leaving the ticket counter and then pushing the dog in the stroller toward the airport’s short-term parking lot and seen headed to an area where the dog was found unattended 40 minutes later, authorities told the AP.
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When the accused owner returned from her trip on August 10, a county police sergeant was waiting for her, AP reported. The owner admitted leaving the dog behind because the airline wouldn’t allow it on the plane but said she arranged for her mother to come and pick up the animal from the airport.
She also allowed the police to view her text conversation with her mother, but authorities said they did not find evidence of immediate arrangements being made. The owner’s mother told the police that she only found out about the incident when her daughter’s ex-husband shared a news story about the dog being left at the airport.
Meanwhile, the dog is currently in the care of rescue shelter Animal Friends of Pittsburgh and is doing well, police said.
In January, a New Jersey man left his dog tied up outside of the Des Moines (Iowa) International Airport when he was told he couldn’t fly with the dog without a kennel. He continued to board his flight and was charged with a misdemeanor. The dog has since been adopted by another family.
More:This dog lived at a shelter for 942 days before being adopted. This is his story.
Contributing: The Associated Press
Saman Shafiq is a trending news reporter for USA TODAY. Reach her at sshafiq@gannett.com and follow her on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter @saman_shafiq7.


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