Man who left dog on mountain top receives death threats

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31-year old Anthony Ortolani and his attorney from the Animal Law Center indicate a tentative agreement has been reached in the case of Missy, the dog left on Mt. Bierstadt.

"We think Ortolani will plea to a lesser charge than Cruelty to an Animal and in return he will give up his dog to one of the men on the team that volunteered to climb the 14er, to bring the dog down the mountain," said Jennifer Edwards, attorney and founder of the Center.

"This might be the best outcome, now that my client is getting death threats, for his actions."

Ortolani says he and his 16-year-old climbing partner encountered extra rough terrain and weather on their climb up the big peak. Missy, who had already climbed five 14ers, also found the going too tough.

"Missy had trouble with the huge rock slides in the saddle between Bierstadt and Mt. Evans...her paws were cut and bloody," Ortolani said. "We tried to carry her out, but she weighs more than a hundred pounds. When we couldn't carry her anymore we left her."

"When I called Search and Rescue and the sheriff's department, I was told they didn't rescue animals. I was so taxed by the ordeal emotionally and physically, I couldn't go back up to try to get her down."

When some hikers who spotted the dog posted an online plea to help the pup, eight climbers came forward to help.

They climbed up, gave her food, water and aid she needed to get a bit stronger for the trip down. Then the eight began to carry Missy, who they renamed Lucky, down the mountain.

Contrary to what many think, Ortolani says he never had any issues over the volunteers who rescued Missy, saying he only wanted the Clear Creek Animal Shelter to let him see his dog. And Monday, on the Ellen show, the eight volunteers were honored for their actions.

"I think it's only fair that if she can go to a good home with one of the people who helped save her, then that is what should happen," said Anthony. "I just want her to be healthy and safe, so I'm good with that."

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