An East Petersburg couple was cited with abandoning their dogs after police removed a total of three dogs on two separate calls recently, according to Northern Lancaster County Regional Police.
Oscar David Ortolaza, 30, and Samantha Johnna Coppe, 28, both of the 6400 block of Hollow Drive, were cited after police were called twice in one week about a found dog, police said.
Officers were first called at 6:30 a.m. on June 24 for a report of two dogs that were found near Graystone Road and Hollow Drive, according to police. Both dogs were Rottweilers and one had a microchip that was registered to Ortolaza, who told police his girlfriend, Coppe, would pick the dogs up.
Police said that no one ever arrived to pick up the dogs and they were later taken to the SPCA in Lancaster city.
One day after the dogs were taken to the SPCA, on June 26, police were called again for a found dog that had no identification tags or a microchip near Hollow Drive, according to police. Coppe was the caller and told officers the Pitbull puppy she had found was in her garage.
The puppy was checked for any other identifiers but taken to the SPCA as a stray two days later, police said.
Police said that a “deeper follow-up investigation was warranted,” after the second call, and found out that all three dogs had belonged to Ortolaza and Coppe.
Witnesses and neighbors told police that two large dogs that looked like Rottweilers lived there and added that a Pitbull puppy and Golden Retriever also lived at Ortolaza and Coppe's residence, according to police. Two dog cages were sitting stacked in the driveway.
Police said that Coppe’s false police report “circumvents the abandonment process and fees associated.” There is a minimum fine of $350 every time police have to transport a dog to the SPCA.
Ortolaza was cited with animal abandonment for failing to pick up his two Rottweilers, police said.
He is also charged with theft, because of the manor he abandoned the dogs, police said he “intentionally [withheld] property of another by deception that totaled $1,050.”
Police said charges were filed against the couple by summons, which means they will need to appear in court for a preliminary hearing, which has not yet been set.
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