Anthony Ortolani wants dog he left on a mountain to go to one of her rescuers
Last month, Anthony Ortolani insisted he wanted to retain custody of Missy, a dog he left on a mountain to die -- a prospect that spurred Facebook outcry and a petition to stop that from happening.
Big photos below.
Now, however, he's done an about-face, saying at a news conference that he wants Missy to stay with one of her rescuers.
As we've reported, Ortolani posted his version of what took place on 14ers.com. According to him, he was hiking with Missy on Mount Bierstadt in late July when her paws became too sore to continue walking. He tried to carry the German Shepherd the rest of the way down the mountain, he maintained, but because they were at approximately the 13,000 foot mark and a storm was approaching, he eventually had no choice but to leave her behind.
He subsequently contacted a search-and-rescue group and the local sheriff's department, he claimed, but was told such an effort on behalf of a dog wasn't feasible. As a result, Missy had been on the mountain for more than a week when she was finally spotted by hikers. After the latter posted a photo of Missy, members of a rescue group banded together and were able to find and save the dog, who was suffering from dehydration and cuts on all four of her paws.
A photo of Ortolani cuddling with Missy.
Despite Ortolani's version of events, the Clear Creek Sheriff's Office announced that he would face animal cruelty charges. And his desire to get Missy back resulted in a fiery online backlash.
Continue reading for more about Anthony Ortolani and Missy.