By Philip A. Holmes, Williamsport Sun-Gazette
An Old Lycoming Township couple have been charged with cruelty to animals for allegedly abandoning their dog in a wooded area near here; a dog that was later found with three bullet wounds.
The dog survived, according to a humane officer for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and has since been adopted.
The accused former owners of the dog are Jason Ellis, 36, and his wife, Jodi, 35, of 102 Harvard Court. They were sent a summons and are scheduled to appear for a hearing Thursday before District Judge James H. Sortman.
Humane officer Larry Woltz alleges that the couple abandoned the labrador-pit bull mix, believed to be about 3, along Dubois Hollow Road in Lewis Township on or about March 28.
The dog, which has been given the name "Miracle" since it survived its wounds, underwent an extensive recovery and was treated by three veterinarians, including a specialist, Woltz said.
The animal was found in late March with bullet wounds to the neck, elbow and shoulder.
"We have no evidence as to who shot the dog or where it was shot, but I do feel that I have enough evidence to charge the couple with abandoning the animal," Woltz said.
"We have information that days before the wounded dog was found, the couple were unsuccessful in trying to find it a new home," he said.
With the help of a witness and veterinary records, investigators determined the Ellises owned the animal, Woltz said, and it is alleged the couple abandoned the animal.
Veterinary bills have reached nearly $4,000 and the SPCA, which cared for the dog until mid-June when it was adopted out to its new owner, are seeking restitution from the Ellises, Woltz said.
Even though investigators do not know who shot the dog, they believe the couple should pay the bill if it can be proven that the two abandoned the animal, Woltz said.
"If they are found guilty, the SPCA believes the couple is responsible for what happened to the dog after it was abandoned," he added.
The dog has made a full recovery, Woltz said.