Two Dauphin County men have been charged in an animal abuse case where a dog had its neck slit before it was left to die in a wooded area near Middletown.
Jeffery Scott Fletcher Jr., 21, of Highspire, and Josh D. Boyanowski, 31, of Middletown, were arraigned before a district judge Thursday.
Lower Swatara Township police said Boyanowski owned the dog and asked Fletcher to kill it. The two admitted that the dog's neck had been cut with a hunting knife.
A passerby, Helen McGarry, found the mixed breed Wednesday morning after it crawled out of a wooded area along Stoner Drive.
“It was terrible,” McGarry told abc27 News on Thursday. “He had drool that was coming down, his face was frozen ice and I could see blood on his neck.”
At first, McGarry did not know how severely the dog had been injured. She called 911 and police officers responded for the rescue.
“When they pulled him out, that's when the clots dislodged and that's when there was blood everywhere, I mean he was bleeding profusely,” McGarry said. “I was very emotional and I started crying and I honestly thought he was going to die.”
“It was pretty senseless,” said Dr. Glenn Book, a veterinarian at Londonderry Animal Hospital where the dog is undergoing treatment. “It was horrific and gruesome. When he came in yesterday, he had a large gaping wound with a lot of blood everywhere.”
Book said the dog, named “Trigger,” is now eating well and walking around, but will need a few more weeks of recovery before he is back to full strength and the stitches in his neck can be removed.
He said people have already expressed interest in helping and even adopting the dog.
“The number of phone calls this morning has really kind of humbled us all,” Book said. “We've had, I believe, five donors so far that have called in, making donations towards his care.”
Police said tips generated on abc27's Facebook led them Boyanowski and Fletcher, who were each charged with two counts of cruelty to animals.
Fletcher, who faces additional counts of conspiracy and possessing an instrument of crime, was sent to Dauphin County Prison on $10,000 cash bail and a probation detainer, while Boyanowski was released on $10,000 unsecured bail.
As part of their bail conditions, the two are not permitted to have animals so the Humane Society removed a pit bull from each of their homes, police said.
Their preliminary hearing was scheduled Jan. 6.
“You just don't hurt God's creatures. You just don't,” McGarry said. “I don't understand. Why didn't they just take him to the Humane Society.”