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Police: Woman Abandoned Dog By Throwing Ball, Driving Away

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HEMPFIELD TOWNSHIP, Pa. (KDKA) --- A woman is accused of using a cruel act of betrayal to abandon her dog.

According to state police, it all happened Feb. 21 in the 400 block of Thomas School Road in Hempfield Township when a woman who didn't want her dog anymore played a cruel trick on the animal.

Fortunately, someone else came along and rescued him.

Meet Tank, he's part boxer, part pit bull, and according to Danielle Steeley, part marshmallow.

"He's a loving dog," she says. "He'll lick you to death. He actually sleeps with my daughter and cuddles with her every night."

How Tank ended up with the Steeleys began with the family driving along Thomas School Road in a rainstorm. There stood Tank, soaking wet, looking confused and dodging passing cars.

"My daughter said, 'Mom, stop, there's a dog in the middle of the road. We have to save him,'" Steeley said. "It took us about 10 minutes to get him in, but once we got him in the vehicle, he melted our hearts."

So, how did Tank end up lost and alone? A person living along Thomas School Road saw what happened and filled the Steeleys in.

They told them that a blue van pulled over, and then, says Steeley, "She saw a woman get out, open the van door, throw a ball away from the van, then she saw Tank take off after the ball, the woman slammed the door shut and sped off."

Steeley wanted to know who was responsible. She posted Tank's picture on Facebook and it didn't take long.

"Within 10 hours we had the name of the perpetrator, the van, the license plate, the address," said Steeley.

State police launched an investigation, charging 29-year-old Mandy Shaffer, of Greensburg, with animal cruelty. No one was home when KDKA stopped by her address.

Of course, the big question is what's next for Tank? Will he remain with the Steeley? That's up to a judge.

"It could be upwards of three to six months," said Steeley. "So, they said we have to keep custody of Tank until then. And I said, 'Well, if we're keeping custody of Tank until then, we're keeping custody forever.'"

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