PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Pittsburgh woman accused of stealing a dying man’s dog, and then weeks later having it put down, is being defended by a relative who says she is being vilified for no reason.
Barry Paris says his cousin, 57-year-old Gisele Paris, is the most honest, straight-forward animal lover he knows.
Gisele Paris is facing theft and other charges, and may be charged with malicious animal cruelty.
Police say she had an 8-year-old Siberian husky, named Thor, euthanized several weeks after she allegedly stole him from the yard of 54-year-old Mark Boehler.
He is undergoing treatment for stage 3 cancer.
Barry Paris says Boehler neglected his dog, explaining that “he left him alone for days, weeks at a time, with no food or water.”
Paris believes his cousin now has become the victim, not Boehler, especially the way the media has reported the story.
When reached by phone Friday, Boehler rejected the charge, saying he never mistreated or neglected his dog and he can prove it.
Robert Mielnicki, the suspect’s attorney, emailed a statement, saying in part, “The evidence will show that my client did not go on Mr. Boehler’s property and take his dog. She did not act maliciously.”
Boehler says he’s looking forward to Sunday when he expects to join supporters and their pets for a service remembering Thor, which will be held on the Hot Metal Bridge in Pittsburgh.
The service will begin at 1 p.m. If you plan on attending, you are asked to arrive at noon.
For more information, visit Jamie’s Dream Team’s website at this link.