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Monday, Jan 7, 2008County: Beaver
Case Images: 3 files available
» Ronald Tomko
» Rebecca Tomko
Case Updates: 1 update(s) available
A Beaver Falls couple is facing charges of cruelty to animals after their emaciated and burned dog was euthanized earlier this month.
Ronald Tomko and his wife, Rebecca, both 27, of 1709 Fourth Ave. were released on $5,000 unsecured bond after their arraignment Friday before Beaver County District Judge William Livingston.
Monday, Rebecca Tomko said she had "no idea" how the couple's dog, a Great Dane mix named Tank, was burned. Her husband said they would have no additional comment.
According to Lee Nesler, executive director of the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society, the Tomkos brought Tank to their Pittsburgh facility the evening of Jan. 7.
An examination of Tank, who was thought to be two to three years old, showed severe burns to the dog's face and inside his mouth and trachea, burns which Nesler said may have been caused by a chemical. Tests on the dog's burns are still pending, Nesler added.
Tank was also "grossly" emaciated, Nesler said, with his ribs showing.
While Nesler said it was unclear how long Tank had been burned before he was brought to the animal shelter, it was clear from the dog's weight that he hadn't been properly cared for for quite some time.
Tank was in pain, Nesler said, so after an examination the following morning, the dog was euthanized.
Despite his suffering, Nesler said, Tank was friendly to staff members.
"The dog still had a good attitude," Nesler said, "and was trying to make the best of it. It never ceases to amaze us the amount of forgiveness (animals) have."
|A Beaver Falls couple, whose emaciated and burned dog was put to death in January, won't be allowed to have a dog for one year, according to a deal reached Thursday.|
Ronald and Rebecca Tomko, both 27 and of 1709 Fourth Ave., had been charged with three counts of cruelty to animals.
The couple took their dog, a Great Dane mix named Tank, to the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society in Pittsburgh on Jan. 7. Tank had severe burns to his face, inside his mouth and trachea, said Lee Nesler, the society's executive director.
The dog was "grossly" emaciated and in pain, Nesler said. The society euthanized Tank.
The Tomkos, who have declined to speak about Tank, waived their preliminary hearing in Beaver County Court on Thursday. They agreed to enter the state's Accelerated Rehabilitative Program, or ARD, for first-time offenders.
The Tomkos must surrender their second dog, a pit bull, and pay restitution to the humane society and the Allegheny County crime laboratory, said Beaver County Assistant District Attorney Michael Siget.
The Tomkos will appear in court June 6 to formally enter ARD. After the appearance, one of the Tomkos' parents will care for the second dog, Siget said.
The cruelty charges will be expunged from their records if they successfully complete the ARD program.
|Source: Times Online - April 18, 2008|
Update posted on Apr 18, 2008 - 10:25PM
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