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Police say Bloomfield man leashed dog with Xbox cord, injuring it

| Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014, 1:33 p.m.
Justin Merriman | Trib Total Media
Barney, a Siberian Husky whose throat suffered a deep laceration, recovers at the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society on the North Side on Aug. 28, 29014. Pittsburgh police charged a man Thursday who they say is responsible for the injuries on the dog's neck.
Justin Merriman | Trib Total Media
Barney, a Siberian Husky whose throat suffered a deep laceration, recovers at the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society on the North Side in 2014. Two pending pieces of legislation seek to improve the plight of animals in Pennsylvania.

A Bloomfield man admitted that he tied up his Siberian husky with an Xbox cord that left the dog with an inch-deep laceration in its neck, Pittsburgh police said on Thursday.

Don Miller, 20, is charged with two counts of animal cruelty stemming from the laceration and allegations that the dog was emaciated and had severe urine burns on its paws and feces impacted in its fur.

Officials with the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society said Miller brought the husky to the humane society on Aug. 13 wrapped in a garbage bag, claiming he found an injured stray.

The humane society named the dog Barney.

“He said he found it in Homewood, which was a complete fabrication,” said humane society Executive Director David Janusek. “What led us to (suspect) him were the anonymous tips. He was incriminated by the public.”

Humane society Officer Ed Mitchell and Pittsburgh police Officer Christine Luffey investigated the case.

The officers questioned Miller on Tuesday in the Allegheny County Jail, where he is being held on unrelated charges. After first denying he owned the dog, Miller began to cry and said he bought “Frost” in Lancaster County several months ago, according to Luffey's affidavit.

According to the affidavit, Miller told police the dog was not obedient and urinated and defecated in his home. He said on Aug. 12 he came home to find dog feces all over his white carpet, which upset him. He couldn't find a collar so he used his Xbox cord to tie the dog in a back room. The next day, he noticed the 7-inch long laceration.

Miller admitted that he disciplined the dog by keeping it in a crate for long periods of time and withholding food, according to the affidavit.

“Huskies are highly energetic dogs, and Barney is only 10 months old. If he continually pulled on the cord, moving and jumping, we believe that's how the (laceration) happened,” Luffey said. “The loop (Miller) made would choke the dog when it pulled away.”

Miller's mother, Annette Robinson, said she was speechless.

“I'm heartbroken to hear this happened. I'm stunned because I know when he purchased the dog, he played with it every day and let the dog sleep in bed with him,” Robinson said. “I don't understand it.”

Bobby Kerlik is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

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