Read Original Story Here: Group of Strangers Come Together to Rescue Dog From Colorado Mountain
After abandoning his German Shepherd, Missy, on a steep Colorado mountain, Antony Joseph Ortolani, 29, is being prosecuted. The was left on the 14 065 foot Mt. Bierstadt.
It was announced by the Clear Creek Sheriff’s Office that Ortolani will be facing a criminal charge of cruelty to animals.
Ortolani claims he was forced to leave Missy after a storm blew in and he had to get his young hiking companion to safety. Missy was unable to keep up because her feet were so cut up from the rocky mountainside.
Over a week later, Scott Washburn and his wife found the dog on a climb. Missy was too heavy for them to carry down the mountain alone, and she was unable to walk herself.
“My wife broke down crying at the thought of leaving the dog to die,” said Washburn.
Once he returned home, Washburn posted a picture of the dog on a popular forum for climbers, 14ers.com. That discussion sparked a rescue mission, with eight volunteer climbers. The group set out early Monday morning to rescue the dog.
After nine hours, the group was successful in finding Missy and bringing her back down the mountain. The group of eight each took turns carrying her down in a backpack.
Following her rescue, Missy was taken to a vet. She is currently recovering from dehydration and cut paws.
Once Ortolani saw the post on 14ers.com about Missy, he asked to have the dog returned to him. Clear Creek Animal Control declined his request as they conducted an investigation into the case.
Forum members on 14ers.com, and several other sites that covered the story, were outraged, as they pointed out that Ortolani didn’t even, at the very least, put up posters with his contact information if the dog was found.
Washburn, along with several other members of the rescue team, are all hoping to adopt Missy.
“I just don’t think that his actions have shown that he is a responsible dog owner,” Washburn said. “We understand that he had to leave her there. My wife and I did the same thing. But we ended up going back for her, and we went to some pretty extreme lengths to do so. In my opinion, that is not a responsible dog owner, who doesn’t really care about her.”
“The dog was basically abandoned up there,” stated Sgt. Rick Safe of the Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Office.
“He [Ortolani] made no initial attempt. After three days, he thought the dog was deceased so he made no attempts to reclaim the dog,” Page said.