A hiker who was widely censured for abandoning his dog on Mount Bierstadt in Colorado after storms blew in has agreed to relinquish custody to one of her rescuers as part of a plea deal. In August, Anthony Ortolani went hiking with a friend and his dog Missy, a German Shepherd/Rottweiler mix, and was forced to turn back after bad weather blew in. The dog's paws were bleeding and she was unable to continue hiking. Ortolani attempted to carry out the 112-pound dog, but eventually left her on a saddle as he made his own way down. While he called the local sheriff’s office to arrange a rescue, he was told any mission would be too dangerous. He decided to take no further action. After eight days on the mountain, two hikers found Missy and organized a rescue party. Until now, Ortolani had resisted giving up the dog, but has agreed to transfer custody as part of his plea deal involving charges of animal cruelty.
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