A 50-year-old man faces animal cruelty charges after leaving a puppy locked in a Hershey hotel room for 14 hours without food or water, police said.
William J. Minnick, of Marietta, Lancaster County, checked in at Hershey Travel Lodge on December 29 with his approximately 8 week old puppy, despite warnings from management that pets were not authorized, according to a probable cause affidavit filed by Derry Municipal Police.
Minnick left the hotel in a cab around 7 p.m. on New Years Eve and did not return until 2 p.m., according to the affidavit. Hershey Travel Lodge employees told police the puppy barked all night and until New Year’s Day, court documents show.
When Minnick returned later that day, he found his room was locked, according to the affidavit. Documents say he quickly left the hotel again when management said he would have to pay extra to have the room cleaned, because of the puppy.
Derry Township Police were called to the scene and discovered the puppy hiding behind a small refrigerator in Minnick’s bedroom, according to the affidavit. Two piles of dog feces were in the room, which also smelled like urine, police said. There was no food, water, treats or other dog items in the room, according to the affidavit.
Police returned the dog to the Derry Township Police Department, along with marijuana and other drug paraphernalia found in Minnick’s bedroom, according to the affidavit.
In a phone call on January 2, Minnick reportedly told police he would be having heart surgery in a few months and that he planned to train the puppy to be his service dog.
The affidavit said he accused Derry Township Police of trying to fill a quota and having no sympathy for his heart disease. Before hanging up he said, “I’m going to leave the state, [expletive] your charges, ”according to the affidavit.
The affidavit says Minnick told police he reported to the Derry Township Police Department before the end of January 2, but never showed up.
Minnick is charged with an offense of cruelty to animals, use / possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana, as well as a summary offense for failing to provide food and water to animals.
According to online court records, he remains in jail on unsecured $ 20,000 bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for January 18 before District Judicial Judge Dominic Pelino.
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