PITTSBURGH - The attorney for a woman who had her terminally ill neighbor’s Siberian husky euthanized is refuting claims that she stole the dog.
Channel 11’s Jodine Costanzo confirmed with police on Thursday that a missing dog belonging to Mark Boehler was euthanized in his neighbor’s home.
Investigators said Thor, a Siberian husky that went missing on Thanksgiving Day, was euthanized by a licensed veterinarian inside Gisele Paris’ home.
Police said Thor was stolen from Boehler’s Spring Hill yard. For months, Boehler struggled to find out who took Thor and why, all while battling cancer.
“I have good memories of him,” said an emotional Boehler on Thursday.
Paris was arrested last month in connection with stealing the dog, but she refused to tell police what happened to it.
Paris’ attorney, Robert Mielnicki, said in a statement, “My client wanted to do the right thing. The evidence in this case will show that Gisele Paris did not go onto Mr. Boehler's property and take his dog. The evidence will never show that Gisele acted maliciously. The dog was in very poor health. If the dog could have been made well, the dog would have been made well.”
On Thursday, Channel 11 learned Thor was dead before Paris was charged.
“A licensed veterinarian euthanized Thor in the home of Gisele Paris on Feb. 10,” said Christine Luffey of Pittsburgh police.
Boehler has cancer and desperately wanted to be reunited with Thor.
“He’s all I had. I don’t have children,” Boehler said. “They don’t know aggravation, the stress, the anxiety and the energy that this has taken out of me.”
Costanzo saw Paris walking her dog on Thursday. Paris wouldn’t talk to her.
The district attorney is charging Paris with animal cruelty, saying Thor being euthanized was malicious.
Channel 11 asked about the vet who put Thor down. The district attorney believes the vet acted responsibly.
Boehler said Thor had a non-life-threatening tumor and was under a vet’s care.
“She had him literally killed for nothing,” he said.
Paris’ family member contacted Channel 11 Thursday night. He said Paris did not steal Thor; she found the dog wandering, took him into her home and cared for him, he said. She even took him to the Animal Rescue League, and when no one claimed Thor, she adopted him and took him home, according to the family member.
Mielnicki said, “My client is a kind and decent woman.”