Bentleyville man charged with animal cruelty

August 28, 2017
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Barbara S. Miller/Observer-Reporter
One of the suspected wolf hybrids seized last week from a home at 120 Spring St. in Bentleyville Order a Print
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Celeste Van Kirk/Observer-Reporter
Washington Area Humane Society police officer Glen Thomson tries to comfort one of the suspected wolf hybrids that was removed last week from a home in Bentleyville. Order a Print
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Celeste Van Kirk/Observer-Reporter
State Game Commission law enforcement officers Rich Joyce, left, and Heather Flanegan assess Lucy, a German shepherd pup before she is transported to a vet. Order a Print

A Bentleyville man was charged by a Washington Area Humane Society police officer with numerous counts of animal cruelty after 11 dogs, including three suspected wolf hybrids, were removed from his home last week.

Frederick Frameli, 67, of 120 Spring St., was charged by Officer Glen Thomson with 24 counts of animal cruelty. Eleven counts were for failure to provide sanitary living conditions for the animals, and 11 counts were for failing to provide adequate food and water. One count was for picking up a dog and slamming it to the ground and one count was for forcing a dog’s head into a tub of water and holding it down as well as grabbing it by the scruff of its neck. The charges were filed Friday afternoon at the office of District Judge Curtis Thompson.

The humane society learned of the canines’ living conditions last week after a neighbor of Frameli contacted them with allegations Frameli held one of the dogs’ heads under water and the others appeared to be underweight. Thomson was sent videos of the alleged mistreatment.

In an affidavit filed last week at Thompson’s office asking for a search warrant, Thomson wrote “It is clear to see in the one video a man scruffing a white dog by the fur and skin of the neck and dragging it to a tub of some sort. He then lifts the dog by the scruff and puts him in the tub and forces the dog’s head down and holds it.” The neighbor reportedly told Thomson the tub was full of water.

Two of the German shepherds seized were evaluated by behavioral specialists with Animal Friends, said Kelly Proudfit, humane society executive director. She said she has not received the results of the evaluation, but they could be taken to Animal Friends facility, where the behavioral team would work with them so they could eventually be adopted, she added.

“They have a good team,” Proudfit said.

The other dogs are doing well.

“They are very friendly,” Proudfit said. “We have had several people reach out, wanting to help them.”

The three animals believed to be wolf hybrids were taken Saturday to Wolf Sanctuary of Pennsylvania in Lititz, Lancaster County. Proudfit said the breeder indicated one or two were wolf hybrids while the third was believed to be one as well. DNA testing will be done on the animals, but the results will not be known for several months. Proudfit said the animals have to be 10 percent wolf to be considered wolf hybrids.

The charges against Frameli are summary violations because it is the first time he has been charged with animal cruelty, said Proudfit. A new law, known as Libre’s Law, went into effect Monday that allows for misdemeanor or felony charges against suspected animal abusers. Proudfit said the humane society did not want to wait until Monday to seize the dogs over concern for the welfare of the animals.

“The most important thing is that we got them out,” Proudfit said. “There are now better, new laws for the future.”

Game Commission law enforcement Officer Rich Joyce said he expects to file charges Tuesday against Frameli for having the wolf hybrids. It is illegal in Pennsylvania to have wolf hybrids without a permit from the state.

A hearing on the charges is set for Sept. 27 before Thompson.

Kathie O. Warco has covered the police beat and transportation for the Observer-Reporter for more than 25 years. She graduated from Duquesne University with a degree in journalism.

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