MECHANICSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Former professional baseball player Shawn Abner has been returned to Pennsylvania to face charges of animal cruelty and neglect in the death of his dog.
Abner, 53, was committed to Cumberland County Prison in lieu of $50,000 cash bail, according to court records. He was arrested last month in Topeka, Kansas, on a warrant charging him with felony aggravated cruelty to animals, cruelty to animals, and neglect of animals.
Abner, chosen first in the 1984 Major League Baseball Draft, abandoned and intentionally neglected his 14-year-old husky named Eagle when he left for Kansas, according to a criminal complaint filed by Hampden Township police.
Abner asked a neighbor to check on Eagle, and the neighbor found the dog dead just inside the doorway on Aug. 7. When the neighbor told Abner the dog had died, Abner told him to “bury it somewhere” because he wouldn’t be home for a couple more days, the complaint states.
After police obtained a search warrant, an officer entered Abner’s home wearing an air pack due to the overwhelming foul odor. The dog appeared to have been dead for at least a month. The fur was falling from the body and it “appeared as if the dog was starting to melt into the flooring,” police wrote in the complaint.
Police said it appeared the dog had been urinating and defecating in the dining room, where they found numerous piles of dog feces and a hardwood floor that was severely warped and appeared as if it would give way.
Abner told police he left the area on July 19 to visit his girlfriend in Kansas and had not planned on staying long. He said he left food and water for Eagle but admitted he had no one caring for the dog, police said.
Neighbors told police they hadn’t seen or heard the dog since May or June.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Sept. 25.