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Charges Dismissed Against Pittsburgh Animal Control Officer Accused Of Severely Injuring Dog

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Charges have been dismissed against a Pittsburgh animal control officer who was accused of severely injuring a dog.

There are two vastly different versions of this story. At the heart of it, two dogs were left alone in a car. While the dogs have been returned to their owner, the animal control officer is still off the job.

Charges were dismissed against James Genco, a 20-year veteran officer of the city's Bureau of Animal Care & Control following Tuesday's preliminary hearing.

James Genco,
(Photo Credit: KDKA)

"Judge Miller found that the Commonwealth did not meet their burden of proof," said attorney Casey White.

On Saint Patrick's Day in the Strip District, police called animal control officers for two dogs left alone in a car.

Genco and his partner responded to transport the dogs to Humane Animal Rescue, but Genco was later charged with felony aggravated cruelty to animals after one of the animals was severely injured.

"What Mr. Genco actually did was save that dog's life and in return, he gets prosecuted for criminal charges that are unfounded," White said.

A criminal complaint stated security footage given to police showed Genco allegedly dragging the dog on the floor through the garage toward the area where the kennels were located.

The complaint also stated the emergency veterinary clinic said the dog, a pit bull mix, suffered excessive bleeding, broken teeth, a broken tail, ruptured blood vessels in both eyes, and lacerations on its paws.

"Police witnessed and saw what they reported as well. So it is clear that this is kind of a witch hunt against my client," White said.

White said the dog was vicious and attempted to attack officers, and his client protected others and saved the dog as well.

Genco's attorney added that he has never had any prior incidents, and his client wants to get back to work.

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