A woman who took a neighbor’s dog and had it euthanized was sentenced today to three to six months in the Allegheny County Jail and was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine.
Mark Boehler of Spring Hill, Pittsburgh, was undergoing treatment for stage 3 esophageal cancer when his neighbor, Gisele Paris, stole his Siberian husky named Thor from his backyard on Thanksgiving Day last year.
After the disappearance of his dog from his home’s fenced-in backyard, Boehler pleaded for the safe return of his pet thinking that Thor was only missing. He eventually learned that his neighbor took his pet and paid a licensed veterinarian to euthanize the dog in her home.
Gisele Paris, 58, was convicted in December of theft, receiving stolen property and cruelty to animals and had faced up to 10 years in jail. Since being found guilty, Ms. Paris has been on house arrest.
Ms. Paris claimed that she found the dog in a vacant lot, cared for it and took it to a hospital because it had been neglected. After learning that it would cost more than $600 to remove growths on the dog’s hindquarters, Ms. Paris called a veterinarian in February 2014 to euthanize it in her home.
Assistant district attorney Matthew Wholey, however, said Ms. Paris had the dog put down because police had gone to her home searching for it.
A veterinarian who was asked to testify in the case though said that the dog was healthy and did not have life-threatening issues at the time it was killed. Boehler likewise admitted that his dog was not suffering albeit it had some health problems.
“He was everything I had,” Boehler said. “I don’t have no children, so they’re like members of the family. Everybody that has a pet, they know that.”
Ms. Paris still faces two felony counts of aggravated assault and a count of resisting arrest related to the incident.
Mr. Boehler said he was satisfied with the sentence.