'Buddy the dog' owners cited in animal's death

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CONNELLSVILLE, Pa. —

Following substantial social media chatter and an online campaign seeking "justice," Channel 11 News has learned that the owners of a dog in Connellsville will be cited.

The beagle, now known as "Buddy," died earlier this month in Bullskin Township.

After receiving hundreds of emails and Facebook posts in regard to the animal's death, Channel 11 investigated and found out that the dog was from Fayette County.

“The neighbor that ended up eventually taking it to the vet clinic to have it looked at had been calling the SPCA here locally and several other organizations over the course of the last year to report the conditions of the dog. Apparently he received no help from anyone,” Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Stefani Plume said.

Since first learning about the dog's death, Channel 11 has kept in contact with state police and found out Tuesday that they plan on filing two citations against the owner: one for animal cruelty and one for not properly licensing the pet.

The two people who live in the house, Kelly Lazar and Mike Butler, will have to go before a magistrate and explain what happened to the dog.

State police said they interviewed the Fayette SPCA and asked why they didn’t check on the dog after repeated calls by neighbors.

“Their answer was that the dog wasn’t licensed, therefor they didn’t go out to the house to check on the animal,” Plume said.

Fayette SPCA claims that no one ever called to complain about the dog's condition. They said they first learned of the dog when Channel 11 News contacted them after the dog had died.

Lazar and Butler have not commented on the issue.

Related story:  Woman, vet discuss failed 'Buddy the dog' rescue