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Missoula man charged with animal cruelty for leaving dogs in below zero temps

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Jonathan Davis Lamphere, 20, of Missoula, Mont. pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to two counts of animal cruelty for leaving two Labrador retrievers in a gutted trailer at the Blue Mountain Trailer Court with no care or water in February reported The Missoulian.

Lamphere faces one felony and one misdemeanor animal cruelty charge, however he denies owning the dogs or living in the trailer next door.

On February 4, Missoula County Animal Control Officer Cindy Syrjala responded to a neighbor's complaint about the dogs left alone in the trailer while outdoor temperatures dipped to -20 degrees.

The dogs, one yellow Labrador retriever and one black Labrador retriever were tethered inside of the trailer languishing in their own feces and bleeding from cuts and bruises as they desperately tried to chew through to their escape.

There was no heat or water in the trailer. A third dog, a Chihuahua, had recently been removed.

Officer Syrjala removed the dogs, and after being treated by local veterinarians, the dogs are recovering at the Missoula Animal Control Shelter where they are thriving. Both dogs were bruised and underweight, but have made full recoveries.

It is hoped once the court case is over, that the dogs will be neutered and made available for adoption to good homes.

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