Kasilof residents arrested on charges of animal abuse

The person who reported the issue to the police said that several dogs had been rescued, but that one dog was left dead at the home, troopers said

Alaska State Troopers logo.

Alaska State Troopers logo.

Reports of neglected dogs at a Kasilof home led to the arrests on Monday of two Kasilof residents on charges of cruelty to animals.

According to a dispatch from Alaska State Troopers on Tuesday, troopers were notified last week, on Jan. 28, that dogs had been neglected at a Kasilof home. The person who reported the issue to the police said that several dogs had been rescued, but that one dog was left dead at the home.

After a “frozen and emaciated dog” was recovered from the property, the dispatch says that Heather Harris and Harley Potter were arrested and charged with two felony counts each of animal cruelty. The dispatch says that troopers’ investigation revealed that the two “failed to provide adequate food, water, and shelter to dogs at their property” and further that the dogs were “essentially abandoned in subzero temperatures.”

According to an affidavit by Trooper Spencer Burgin, included in charging documents, Harris and Potter were reportedly away from the home for around six days before police were contacted. On each of those days the weather was below zero, as low as -25 degrees, the affidavit says.

When Burgin visited the property, chains were affixed to trees and empty food and water bowls could be seen, according to the trooper affidavit.

“I never located any food or water on the property,” Burgin writes.

The affidavit says that troopers were told eight dogs and a litter of puppies had been removed from the property after around five days alone, a day before police were called.

A deceased dog — found “completely frozen” — was recovered by state troopers from the home. The body was examined at Twin Cities Veterinary Clinic, where it was found to be malnourished but “otherwise healthy… poor body condition with inadequate food/shelter/water lead to hypothermia and death.”

When contacted by troopers on Monday, Harris and Potter were found at a different home in Kasilof, the affidavit says, roughly 10 minutes away from the original location by car.

Harris told Burgin that they had not moved out of their residence where the dogs were being held. Instead, the affidavit says she told him that they had run out of gas. She told Burgin that money had been tight, and they had struggled to feed the dogs.

Both Harris and Potter were taken to Wildwood Pretrial. An arraignment was scheduled for Tuesday.

Reach reporter Jake Dye at jacob.dye@peninsulaclarion.com.

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