Man charged for abandoning dog on Colo. mountain

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

GEORGETOWN, Colo. (AP) -- A man is being prosecuted for abandoning his dog on one of Colorado's tallest mountains.

The Clear Creek Sheriff's Office announced Friday that a criminal charge of cruelty to animals has been filed against Anthony Joseph Ortolani.

He has said he left the German Shepherd on Mount Bierstadt when a storm moved in. He said he had to get a young hiker to safety and said the dog couldn't walk because her feet were cut up from rocks.

The dog was later found by other hikers. The discovery angered many hikers on an online discussion board dedicated to climbing mountains over 14,000 feet,, and a group mobilized to retrieve the dog. They carried her out in a backpack on Aug. 6.


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  • by Rebecca Location: grand junction on Aug 18, 2012 at 04:59 PM
    I love animals especially dogs I think it kind of dumb to leave your dog in the mountains I dont think you should get your dog back they are like a child to some people how could you do a stupid thing like that poor baby I am meaning the dog poor baby I love you Missy your are a good baby
  • by Independent Contractor Location: MC-Colorado on Aug 18, 2012 at 10:20 AM
    To tairy and szabla. I would just LOVE to find the two of you in a remote mountain area in a survival situation (without any animals). Problem is, you better hope for your sake that never happens.
  • by Priorities on Aug 18, 2012 at 07:05 AM
    First I agree that the dog should never be there in the first place. I have climbed all the 14ers and it is no place for dogs. I have seen it many times but there are a lot of reasons not to take a dog with you on this kind of climb. I also question why he would have a "young" person who was not capable of making a safe climb and descent. But for those who say the dog should have been retrieved you have obviously never been at 13,000 plus feet in a storm with a climbing partner. You have to prioritize and sometimes quickly. I use to tell my Children who spent a good deal of time with me backpacking and doing some climbing that if something were to happen to me they should make sure they made me comfortable and then leave me so they could ensure their survival and then get help. Even my long time buddies who I climbed with understood the priority decisions that might possibly have to be made. I am glad he is being charged. But I think it was irresponsible for him to take the dog in the first place. Leaving the dog was just an extension of a poor decision to take him on the climb.
  • by Anonymous on Aug 18, 2012 at 06:15 AM
    Too many Morons in the mountains. No reason in the world to leave this dog. Why couldnt the owner carry the dog out, after all hes a macho mtn climber!
  • by Anonymous on Aug 17, 2012 at 08:48 PM
    Why take a dog mtn climbing in the first place? One who has only half a brain, shouldn't have an animal.
  • by tairy Location: denver on Aug 17, 2012 at 07:49 PM
    Well at least some people still value human life over an animals! Some people will drive off the side of the road to avoid hitting and killing an animal and risk there own life!
  • by Szabla on Aug 17, 2012 at 04:59 PM
    Abandoning an animal, he wouldn’t have told anyone, so he did what he could. In a survival situation, that dog could be on the menu.
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