Anthony Ortolani, 31, faced charges of animal cruelty after he left his 5-year-old dog Missy, a German shepherd/Rottweiler mix, in the 14,000-foot-elevation saddle between Mount Bierstadt and Mount Evans in the Rocky Mountains, to help a climbing colleague down the mountains, the Denver Post reported Monday.
He said he attempted to carry the 112-pound dog down the mountain after bad weather moved in and the dog, with blistered feet, was unable to walk, and left the dog to help his colleague.
Missy was found near death after eight days on the mountain, the newspaper said.
Ortolani will plead guilty to a lesser violation of a Clear Creek County, Colo., ordinance, said Jennifer Edwards, his lawyer and an attorney with the Animal Law Center, and will surrender the dog to an unnamed rescuer.
"I don't want to give her up. I love her. But those people risked life and limb to get her out of there, and that has got to be worth something," he said.
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