The dog-owner who was forced to abandon his German Shepherd after getting stranded on a mountain has been charged with animal cruelty.
Anthony Joseph Ortolani, 29, is accused of leaving his 112-pound dog Missy on one of Colorado's tallest mountains after a storm moved in. Missy could not walk due to severe lacerations on her paws.
Ortolani and another hiker had no choice but to get to safety on the 14,065-foot Mount Bierstadt without her because of her injuries.
Missy managed to survive for eight days on the craggy peak at about 13,000 feet before a group of hikers found and carried her out in a backpack on Monday.
The pooch was described as being severely dehydrated and having trouble breathing.
The rescue operation was made possible thanks to Scott Washburn, who came across the bloodied dog with his wife and then mobilized a group of fellow hikers to save her.
He wants to keep the dog, alleging that Ortolani lacks the ability or compassion to care for the creature, which went without food and water for over a week.
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