Halifax couple charged with animal cruelty, neglect after dog in their care is found severely underweight
DAUPHIN COUNTY — State Police have charged a Halifax couple with animal cruelty and neglect of an animal following an investigation into the condition of a dog in their care, according to a criminal complaint affidavit.
Jeffrey Levan, 51, and Amber Levan, 33, both of the 200 block of Market Street, were charged after police were contacted by members of the One Dog at a Time animal shelter on June 12. The shelter reported that the dog, a male golden retriever/labrador named Bruno, was exhibiting signs of neglect.
According to police, the shelter reported that the Levans were on vacation, and their babysitter, Tori Lebo, had been asked to look after the dog while they were away. Lebo allegedly took the dog to her own residence to care for it, and that was where another person observed the dog and contacted the shelter, according to the complaint.
Police say the dog was extremely thin, to the point where his bones and ribs were visible. His nails were long and untrimmed, and there were sores on the dog’s feet. The dog had difficultly standing and walking, was covered in dirt, and smelled like urine, according to police.
Investigators spoke to both suspects over the phone, according to the complaint. They allegedly claimed the dog was suffering from cancer, which accounted for his weight loss, and told police the dog was fed twice a day. They claimed the dog had not seen a veterinarian in over a year, and there was no documentation of its condition, police say.
Police determined that the dog did not have a license, and the veterinarian referenced by Jeffrey Levan told police records indicated the dog had been brought to the clinic as a puppy and had never made any follow-up visits, according to the complaint.
Police say the dog was placed on a slow-feeding program and has slowly been gaining weight.
The dog was taken to Pet Pantry of Lancaster for care, police say. The president and resident veterinarian at Pet Pantry, Bryan Langlois, told police the dog was 20-30 pounds underweight and had no other medical condition or disease.
The Levans were charged on July 23 at the conclusion of the investigation, according to police.