Pittston woman pleads guilty, fined for abandoning dogs

By Ed Lewis and Pat Kernan - [email protected]
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WILKES-BARRE — A Pittston woman pleaded guilty Thursday to abandoning five dogs inside a Jenkins Township residence where she formerly lived last year.

Two dogs had to be euthanized due to their fragile conditions.

Donna Cresho, 59, of Poole Street, pleaded guilty to three summary counts of cruelty to animals before Luzerne County Judge Joseph Sklarosky Jr. Two first-degree misdemeanor counts of cruelty to animals were withdrawn by prosecutors.

Sklarosky fined Cresho a total of $300 and prohibited her from owning any pets.

Cresho was initially scheduled for trial until she pleaded guilty to the summary counts.

According to court records, Jenkins Township police were notified dogs were abandoned inside Cresho’s then-residence on Stout Street on April 1, 2017. A neighbor told police Cresho had been gone from her residence for nearly a month and saw no one going into the house to feed or provide water to the dogs.

Police notified the SPCA of Luzerne County.

A humane officer went to the residence and saw two brown Chihuahuas in the front window and a large accumulation of mail in the mailbox.

The humane officer learned Cresho was a patient at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center. Cresho told the humane officer she had someone watching her animals and planned to arrive home April 3, 2017.

When the humane officer followed up April 4, 2017, Cresho could not be contacted.

The officer returned to the Stout Street house and attached postings to the doors instructing Cresho or an animal care provider to call the SPCA.

When no one called, the humane officer noticed the postings were not removed from the doors April 5.

A dog was seen licking a window as it appeared the canine was obtaining moisture from dew formed on the inside of the glass, court records say.

Humane officers and police served a search warrant at the residence April 7, 2017.

When Cresho was contacted, she surrendered her animals and provided authorities with a key to the home.

Substantial force had to be used to open the front door due to debris.

Fecal matter covered the floor and cobwebs hung from ceilings, court records say.

There was no food or water for the dogs. Water service to the residence was shut off.

Five dogs were removed from the home. Two dogs were emaciated and very weak, and three other dogs were severely underweight. A cat that Cresho claimed she had in the residence was not found.

The two emaciated dogs were transported to Northeast Veterinarian Hospital in Plains where they were euthanized due to their conditions, court records say.

A necropsy performed on the two dogs revealed they were both dehydrated. No food was found in the stomach of one dog and the only food found in the stomach of the other was from a small amount given to it by the SPCA.

Meanwhile, three dogs were nursed back to health at the SPCA in Plains.

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By Ed Lewis and Pat Kernan

[email protected]