A Montana man appeared in a Missoula County courtroom April 1 to answer criminal charges after law enforcement said the man had left two Labrador retrievers tied up and exposed to brutal conditions during February's harshest cold.
This morning's Missoulian reports that 20-year-old Joanthan Lamphere faces two counts of animal cruelty, one of them a felony, after prosecutors said Lamphere had kept two dogs in a gutted trailer with no heat or water and living in their own feces. Prosecutors added that one of the dogs had suffered a cut on its face, had feces smeared across its muzzle and was desperate to escape. One Animal Control officer said when she investigated in early February, the wind chill was negative 20 degrees.
But Lamphere insisted in court that he didn't own the dogs or live at the residence.
Meanwhile, animal protection workers said the dogs have gained some of their weight back after being rescued and are "thriving" at a local shelter.