Cop Charged with Animal Cruelty for Starving Dog with "Visibly Protruding Bones"
A Pennsylvania police officer and his wife have been arrested and charged with animal cruelty and neglect for starving their Golden Labrador so badly its bones were protruding from its body.
Highspire police officer Jeffrey Levan, 51, and his wife Amber Levan, 33, were each charged with one count of cruelty to animals and two counts of neglect, according to ABC27.
Jeffrey's wife Amber also works for the government at the Dauphin County Judicial Center.
Pennsylvania state police said the couple's dog was about 30 pounds underweight for a Golden Lab, smelled like urine and had visible sores on his legs as well as bones sticking out from his body.
On June 12, the dog was adopted by a rescue shelter after trooper's were contacted about the situation.
The dog received medical treatment and placed on a feeding regimen in order to safely, slowly gain weight.
"Once we’re able to do a little bit more of the investigating and seeing exactly why the dog is in the condition that it’s in, once you know it’s starvation, there’s a lot of emotions that come into that," the founder of One Dog at a Time, Kari Coble, said.
Amber Levan was placed on leave pending the outcome of an investigation and her criminal case related to cruelty to her dog.
Jeffrey Levan was also placed on paid leave, according to Highspire Police Chief Mark Stonbraker.
The couple is set for a preliminary hearing regarding their pending criminal charges at 3 p.m. on September 3.
This isn't the first time a Philadelphia cop has faced criminal charges for abusing a pet.
In November of 2016, Philadelphia police officer Michael Long was arrested for abandoning his starving pit bull named Cranberry in a trash bag, according People.
"There was so much sadness in her eyes," Barbara Adam, a good Samaritan, who found Cranberry then carried her about a mile to a nearby street to rescue.
SPCA workers named the dog Cranberry because he was found close to Thanksgiving, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
They gave some credit to police officers for helping to save Cranberry.
"This arrest today is the culmination of an investigation conducted by our officers and the Philadelphia Police Internal Affairs Unit," Pennsylvania SPCA Director of Humane Law Enforcement Nicole Wilson said after Long's arrest.
Long was on the district attorney's "do not all list" due to allegations of impropriety and credibility issues.
Long, who pleaded guilty and agreed to never own a dog again, was sentenced to a year of probation and no jail time, still works for the Philadelphia Police Department and is one of 29 Philly police officers on the "do not call" list.
He also agreed to never own a dog again for the rest of his life.
Subsequent to that incident, Pennsylvania passed a law requiring stiffer penalties for animal abuse from lower-level misdemeanors to higher-level offenses in 2017.
Neglect cases, like denying an animal food, water or sanitary shelter or care, now carry up to a year in jail.
For animal cruelty, like beating, abandoning or ill-treating an animal or pet could cost fines of up to $5,000 land the offender in jail for up to two years.
Aggravated animal cruelty, such as intentionally or knowingly torturing or abusing an animal that leads to serious injury or death carries up to a $15,000 fine and seven years in jail, according to NBC Philadelphia.