Monday, June 1, 2015
Montgomery County man accused of abusing pet boxer in Falls
Posted: Thursday, May 28, 2015
Over six months last year, Rocky the boxer, allegedly changed from a playful and social pet to a withdrawn, accident-prone one that would flinch every time one of his owners came near him.
Falls police say they know why.
A Montgomery County man had been abusing the dog, which belonged to his ex-girlfriend, authorities said.
The same man was convicted in 2003 of kicking to death three of his ex-girlfriend’s puppies. A fourth beaten puppy survived.
Christopher George, 43, of Norristown, on Wednesday was arraigned on a charge of cruelty to animals, a third-degree felony, and released on $25,000 unsecured bail by District Judge Jan Vislosky. Authorities say the dog suffered 23 broken ribs.
The Courier Times was unsuccessful in immediately reaching George’s attorney, Ellis Klein, for comment Thursday.
In court documents, police allege that George’s then girlfriend claimed George often appeared angry at the 5-year-old dog after she moved in with him in Falls following a burglary at her home. The two dated for about six months before she ended the relationship in December.
The girlfriend alleged George would often get angry at Rocky if he laid on the furniture, eventually banishing him to the kitchen, according to a probable cause affidavit. After George discovered Rocky shredded a sheet of tinfoil, he moved Rocky to the basement, the affidavit notes.
The first suspicious signs of abuse, authorities believe, appeared in October when the girlfriend found Rocky’s paws were bleeding at the nail beds and he had a cut on his nose. George told her Rocky must have gotten into something in the basement, she said.
The girlfriend made an emergency appointment with the vet, but George made her cancel it claiming he had no money for the bill, the affidavit alleged. A few weeks later, Rocky appeared to have trouble walking up stairs and the girlfriend found he had a bruised foot.
George claimed the injury happened when he tripped over Rocky after the dog ran in front of him, the affidavit alleged.
In November, George claimed he left Rocky in the fenced backyard of their Falls home but, when he returned, the dog was gone.
Two hours later, a Falls animal control officer called the girlfriend, who had reported the dog missing, to let her know a boxer matching Rocky’s description was seen on Cabot Boulevard, which was about 5 miles from the couple’s home.
She went to the area near Norfolk Southern Rail Yard and found the dog in the middle of the road. She said George, a truck driver, typically parks his work truck there at the end of the day, according to the affidavit.
A veterinarian diagnosed the pet with subcutaneous emphysema, a puncture wound at the top of the head and blood in his urine, the affidavit noted. The vet ordered that Rocky’s physical activity be limited, but after Thanksgiving the girlfriend noticed Rocky was again swollen on both sides and soon found out that George allegedly had been constantly exercising the dog.
Two days before Christmas, Rocky was back at the vet for oral surgery. George allegedly was “adamant” about picking up the dog afterward.
She checked on the dog when George fell asleep, and found a new cut above his eye and a cut on his mouth, the records noted.
The next day, the girlfriend found Rocky outside, bleeding from his head and unable to stand without leaning against a fence, according to court documents. George claimed Rocky bit him on the arm so he put the dog outside, though it was raining heavily, court documents alleged.
She immediately took the dog to the vet, who told her it appeared the dog was abused, court documents alleged. The girlfriend immediately moved Rocky to a friend’s home.
Bucks County SPCA humane officer Nikki Thompson, who assisted with the Falls abuse investigation, confirmed that George pleaded guilty in Bucks County Court to kicking the dogs belonging to an ex-girlfriend more than 10 years ago.
Noel, a schnauzer, Shamus, a boxer, and Bella, a bulldog, died from their wounds. The fourth dog, also a boxer, was given up for adoption, according to news accounts.
George was sentenced to six to 12 months of house arrest, records show.
At his sentencing hearing in that case, George told the judge he lashed out at the animals because he didn’t know how to deal with problems in his relationship and stress from work.
“It kills me to realize this happened,” he said, according to press accounts. “I just want to move on and get help. The smart thing would have been to get out of the environment that I was in at the time.”