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Updated: 7:07 p.m. Thursday, March 7, 2013 | Posted: 7:26 a.m. Thursday, March 7, 2013
WASHINGTON COUNTY, Pa. —
A local police chief is facing several charges of animal cruelty after officials said they found his dog severely malnourished.
Humane Society investigators said West Pike Run Police Chief Mike Hardesty's 1-year-old rottweiler was found 30 pounds underweight. The West Pike Run Police Department is located in Washington County.
Officials said the dog weighed 58 pounds -- when it should weigh between 85 and 90 pounds.
Humane Society investigators said Hardesty kept the dog in his North Bethlehem basement without food, water or bedding.
“She was living in an unfinished, leaky basement. She had no bedding, food or water,” Washington County Humane Society officer Kelly Backo said.
An investigator said the chief told them that he didn't have enough time to care for the dog. However, Backo said Hardesty’s other dog is healthy.
“He has another Rottweiler. It’s a male and it lives upstairs. He’s in good health, so there’s no rhyme or reason on why this dog was made to live in the basement,” Backo said.
Hardesty emailed the following statement to Channel 11’s Dave Bondy on Thursday: “There are others living in my house and there is no merit to the charges against me.”
The dog was placed with a foster family and is being nursed back to health.
West Pike Run officials declined to comment on the charges against Hardesty.
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