ALTOONA, Pa. (WTAJ) — A 29-year-old man is facing felony and misdemeanor animal cruelty and neglect charges after Altoona police say he let two dogs nearly starve to death.
A 7-year-old chocolate Labrador Retriever named Kolby and a 6-year-old Golden Retriever named Silas were mere weeks away from death when they were taken to an animal hospital in November 2019, according to the charges.
Kyle Degennaro was living at 900 19th Ave. and the dogs’ condition came to the attention of police after a neighbor called a relative who works for a dog rescue Nov. 22 and the dogs were turned over so they could get medical care. The neighbor told police Degennaro was at the home of “a new girlfriend” for days and didn’t feed or give water to the animals while he was gone.
The dogs spent a week in the animal hospital and suffered serious health problems and gastrointestinal issues because they were starved, police noted. Silas also reportedly had Lyme disease and was in such bad shape he couldn’t walk when he was removed from Degennaro’s home and had to be carried.
The veterinarians that treated the two dogs got ahold of previous records that showed Kolby’s weight was down to 46 lbs. from 80 lbs. while Silas had once weighed 65 lbs. but was only 35 lbs. when taken to the hospital.
Degennaro claimed the dogs wouldn’t eat, a claim his neighbor refuted when she said the dogs had eaten food she gave them through the fence. When he turned the dogs over to the dog rescue group One Dog At A Time, based in Lewistown, he allegedly said he couldn’t afford to take care of them, police said.
Degennaro is now charged with two felony counts of aggravated cruelty to animals and two counts each of misdemeanor cruelty to animals, neglect of animals by failing to provide food and water and neglect of animals by failure to provide veterinary care. Degennaro was arraigned Monday afternoon and released on an unsecured $10,000 bond. A preliminary hearing at Central Court is scheduled for May 5.