Butler County man given jail sentence for death of dog found with rocks in stomach

A Reily Twp. man was sentenced to jail this week for abusing his dog that later died.

David Neanover, 36, of the 6100 block of Main Street, pleaded no contest to two counts of cruelty to companion animals in March in Butler County Area I Court. Judge Robert Lyons then found him guilty of the first-degree misdemeanor charges.

Neanover was sentenced Thursday to 180 days in the Butler County Jail for the first animal cruelty charge and 90 days for the second. He was also given a 180-day sentence for a misdemeanor domestic violence charge that occurred after the 2019 incident involving the dog. The sentences will be served concurrent, meaning he will serve a total of 180 days, which is the maximum for misdemeanor animal cruelty.

Neanover was also ordered to pay $2,598.18 in restitution to the dog’s caregivers and was given a $1,500 fine plus court costs.

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On April 22, 2019, a deputy dog warden was dispatched to the Neanover residence for a welfare check but was unable to make contact with anyone. The deputy dog warden observed the thin dog with sores on its body.

The defense argued Neanover’s privacy rights were violated when the deputy dog warden entered the yard to seize the dog without a warrant. The judge overruled that argument.

The dog, named Lou by caregivers, was cared for and hospitalized for five days at Animal Care Centers and died several days later.

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The medical staff was surprised when X-rays showed rocks in the dog’s stomach. He lived his life on a very short chain and was “deprived food for quite some time,” according to the Animal Friends Humane Society.

The case was presented to a grand jury that declined to return an indictment on felony charges.

Defense attorney Charles M. Rittgers said in June that a medical condition, not lack of food or water, killed the dog, which is likely the reason the grand jury did not return a felony indictment.

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