GANT: Apollo Couple Waives Hearing in Dog Starvation Case

CLEARFIELD CO., Pa. (GANT) – An Apollo couple is facing felony and misdemeanor charges for allegedly starving a dog to death back in February.

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William K. Long, 22, and Kiara L. Gohn, 21, are charged by Clearfield Borough police with felony aggravated cruelty to animals and conspiracy as well as related misdemeanor and summary offenses.

Long and Gohn waived their rights to preliminary hearings Wednesday during centralized court. Their bail is set at $5,000 unsecured.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, on Feb. 26, an SPCA humane officer reported that the couple’s dog had died at a Daisy Street residence. She believed it died from neglect.

She said the SPCA intended to go to the residence and possibly seize the other animals. She asked for police assistance and officers, including Chief Vincent McGinnis and Sgt. Daniel Podliski, responded to the home.

They reportedly found the floors littered with plastic wrappers and cigarette butts. The rabbit cage contained a considerable amount of feces, police said, and there wasn’t any food or water.

When Long and Gohn were asked what happened to the dog, the couple reportedly said they’d left for a few days, and when they came back home, they discovered it had died.

On March 3, Podliski spoke with Long and Gohn about the timeline of events surrounding the dog’s death. They said on Feb. 19, they learned that Long’s brother had passed away.

The couple went to Tarentum, Pa., for the funeral and said the next day, they came home and found their Collie had died. Long also said he found a back window open and thought someone had been inside while they were away.

Long provided a name to officers, saying the suspect was upset with him; however, police found no evidence of a break-in, according to the affidavit.

Podliski asked about the location of the deceased dog and Gohn said it was buried at Long’s parents’ home in Apollo, Pa. The officer then sought permission to get the dog so a necropsy could be done to determine its cause of death.

Long reportedly became very uncooperative, but Gohn granted permission. She later contacted Podliski at the police station, indicating the deceased dog was at the Daisy Street residence and had been there the whole time.

A necropsy was performed and determined the dog died from starvation, police said. The dog reportedly weighed 30 pounds Oct. 3, 2020 and weighed 19 pounds March 4.

After losing one-third of its body weight, the dog had muscle deterioration; it was given a body score of 2 out of 10. It also had an empty stomach at time of the examination, according to the veterinarian’s report.

As a result, police seized two rabbits, a dog and a cat from the couple’s residence and they were put under the care of the Clearfield County SPCA.

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