By Keith Gushard
A Titusville man faces up to five years in jail for killing his dog by leaving it in a Troy Township home alone to fend for itself for a month and a half.
William E. Daly III, 22, of 125 E. Main St., Titusville, pleaded guilty Thursday in Crawford County Court of Common Pleas before Judge John Spataro to a charge of cruelty to animals filed by Pennsylvania State Police for the death of the dog.
The cruelty to animals charge, a first-degree misdemeanor, carries a maximum penalty of five years in jail and a $10,000 fine.
Companion charges of failing to have a rabies vaccination tag and a license for the dog were dropped by the Crawford County District Attorney’s Office as part of a plea bargain. Those counts each carry a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail and a $300 fine.
The dog’s death was discovered Oct. 3, 2012, by a Pennsylvania State Constable attempting to serve an arrest warrant on Daly at a home at 35071 Crowther Road in Troy Township, according to the arrest affidavit for the animal cruelty charge filed by state police.
“My uncle took (control of) the house and I wasn’t allowed to enter it,” Daly said to Judge Spataro when questioned about what had happened. “I should have called somebody.”
“No,” Daly responded when asked by Judge Spataro if he was in any mental health treatment program.
In an interview with state police on Oct. 5, 2012, Daly admitted he had left the dog alone at 35071 Crowther Road since the beginning of August 2012, according to the arrest affidavit.
The investigation found the dog had been left without food or water for one and one-half months, the affidavit said. The interior of the home was found in deplorable condition with large amounts of urine stains and fecal matter and a flea infestation inside the residence, the affidavit said. The dog’s badly decomposed remains were found in a shallow grave behind the home, according to the affidavit.
Daly is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Spataro on April 19. He remains free on his own recognizance.
Keith Gushard can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.