It is a sad day for animal enthusiasts everywhere when news breaks come across the wire about people in charge, people of importance, those we are supposed to be able to trust, are charged with animal cruelty. One has to wonder at that point who it is that we can trust.
The Chief of Police from West Pike Run Township has been charged with animal cruelty after his dog is discovered being 25 pounds underweight. The question that many people have is how Michael Hardesty could vow to serve and protect and yet treat his dog Etalia with such utter callousness. This is especially inconceivable when one stops to consider that this Chief of Police should be especially tuned into the Pennsylvania dog law and the rules and regulations established to properly care for an animal.
The dog has been transferred to the Washington Area Humane Society. They, too, are in utter disbelief that this latest act of cruelty was administered at the hands of a top authoritative figurehead. The General Manager, Kelly Backo, of the Washington Area Humane Society commented that, “This is actually an extremely severe case, Etalia is so malnourished, she’s only 58 pounds. It was a life or death situation for this dog.”
Considering that Etalia, a female Rottweiler, is one-and-a-half years old, her weight is completely shocking. She should weigh over 80 pounds by now!
That is not even the half of Etalia’s horrific story, however. A call came into the Humane Society that the young dog was being kept locked in Hardesty’s basement for too many hours each day. A dog officer was dispersed to the Scenery Hill home. The Rottweiler was discovered living in its own filth. She was removed from the residence and taken to the Society for treatment.
In the Chief’s defense, he claims that Etalia ran away from home and that is why she is so underweight. If this was truly the case, why was the dog not taken to a vet for some help?
There will be a hearing to determine if the Chief keeps custody or if the young Rottweiler remains in the Humane Society’s care. Since animals are getting more rights these days, the hope is that the outcome will benefit the dog.
This news story should provide a warning that no one is above the law when it comes to protecting an animal from eminent harm. The least pet owners should do is provide food, water, and shelter for their four-legged companions. When you have an important position, like protecting the general public from harm, you certainly don’t want to be the one known as the creator of harm!