Man Charged With Abandoning Dog at Pittsburgh Airport

A man and his dog at an airport.
(Photo Credit: Boris Roessler | picture alliance via Getty Images)

A West Virginia man, David Mittelberger Sr., is facing charges after abandoning his dog at the Pittsburgh International Airport last week according to a Facebook post by the Allegheny County Police Department.

Man abandons dog before boarding flight

According to the investigators, Mittelberger planned to catch a flight to California when he tied his dog, Mikey, to a light pole near the airport’s parking garage. Police shared still shots taken from a surveillance video of the then-unknown suspect, and thanks to tips, were able to identify the man as Mittelberger.

“Thank you to everyone who reached out in response to this incident. Thanks to those tips, we have identified the person pictured as 68-year-old David Mittelberger Sr. of Windsor Heights, West Virginia,” the Allegheny County Police Department wrote on Facebook.

Dog taken to local shelter

There is a some good news, however. Authorities confirmed that Mikey is currently in the care of Animal Friends, a Pittsburgh-based animal shelter. The dog reportedly “has an active infection in his mouth” and needs “significant dental care.”

“We appreciate everyone’s concerns and while Mikey is currently not available for adoption, there are many pets still looking for a home. We would encourage anyone interested in adoption to reach out to Animal Friends at 412-847-7000,” the post concluded.

This makes the second dog abandoned at Pittsburgh International Airport in 2023

Back in August 2023, police charged another individual, Allison Lyn Gaiser, with abandoning her dog at the same airport before flying to a resort in Mexico (via Associated Press). Reports state the 44-year-old woman left her French bulldog in a stroller after an airline employee told her the pet wasn’t eligible to travel as an emotional support animal.

Gaiser will be representing herself in court and has an arraignment scheduled for Dec. 1, 2023. She faces two counts of cruelty to animals, two counts of animal neglect, and one count of abandoning a dog within the state.

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