PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A Pittsburgh Animal Care and Control employee is accused of severely injuring a dog.
Police say James Genco is facing multiple charges, including a felony count of aggravated cruelty to animals.READ MORE: COVID-19 In Pennsylvania: State Health Dept. Reports 453 New Coronavirus Cases
According to police, Genco and another Animal Care and Control employee were called to the Strip District in March for two dogs left unattended in a vehicle.
In the process of taking the dogs to Humane Animal Rescue of Pittsburgh, police say one of the dogs was severely injured. The dog, which police say was a type of pit bull, sustained multiple injuries and was immediately taken to the vet for emergency care.
Genco’s attorney, Casey White, said the dog was vicious from the start.
“Right now, he’s sitting in a jail cell waiting to be arraigned,” White said.
According to the criminal complaint, it was St. Patrick’s Day in the Strip District when Genco and another officer removed two dogs left alone in an SUV. It was 50 degrees outside.READ MORE: Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership Paying Struggling Restaurants To Provide For Food Insecure Communities
The workers took the dogs to Humane Animal Rescue of Pittsburgh in Homewood. There, according to the criminal complaint, surveillance video captured Genco trying to remove the dog and pushing a control pole several times into the cage before he could get the loop around the dog’s neck.
The complaint says he pulled the dog off the truck, with a video showing the dog hitting the garage door and a brick wall. More video inside shows Genco dragging the dog 25 to 30 feet with the control pole as the animal lay flat across the garage floor, according to the complaint.
The criminal complaint added that a vet tech heard high-pitched screaming and saw Genco dragging the dog and what appeared to be a trail of blood, urine and feces on the floor.
The dog suffered multiple broken teeth, excessive bleeding, strangulation injuries, a broken tail, lacerations and abrasions. A vet said based on those injuries, she believed excessive force was used.
White said the dog was aggressive, angry and dangerous, adding a police report supports that.
“We believe that those reported injuries were self-inflicted due to this dog being vicious,” White said.MORE NEWS: Fourth Stimulus Check: Will You Get Another Relief Payment?
KDKA’s Jennifer Borrasso was told the two dogs are back in Ohio with their owner. A source said the owner was in the area for work.