CHARLEROI (KDKA) — A Washington County man faces two charges of animal cruelty.

Police went into a Charleroi home recently vacated by Stanley McDonald on Second Street and found two pit bulls dead in their cage.

Cathy Cunningham, a Washington County humane officer, told KDKA-TV the dogs died inside their cage probably from water deprivation.

She said they died slow, cruel and brutal deaths. She estimated the dogs were one to two-years-old. They were severely decomposed.

While defending himself, McDonald said he felt devastated by the dogs’ deaths. He had to leave the home with his 4-year-old son because there was no heat.

McDonald said a friend of a friend knew someone who’d take the animals.

The neighbor who called authorities because of the smell said she saw McDonald coming and going in recent weeks and was sure he knew the dogs were dead.

Each charge of animal cruelty is punishable with a fine of $750.

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