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Man indicted in donkey hanging

From Staff Reports
Sept. 13, 2012 at 11 p.m.

An Ore City man was indicted on a charge of cruelty to livestock animals after being accused in June of hanging a donkey by the neck from a tree, Upshur County District Attorney Billy Byrd said Thursday.

Anthony George Bassler, 35, remains in the Upshur County Jail on $50,000 bond.

He was arrested July 3 after being seen abusing a donkey in June, two days before hanging it in the woods behind his house on Janis Street in the Camp Joy community.

Upshur County Sheriff's Lt. Freddie Fitzgerald testified in July that witnesses saw the donkey try to kick Bassler as he tied a rope around its middle.

"And he kneed the donkey in the stomach and head," the investigator quoted the witnesses, who two days before the donkey died had seen the animal "tied up in a manner where its front hooves were not able to touch the ground."

Bassler said in July that the donkey was dead when he tied a chain around its neck and hoisted it into the tree. He said the animal was his second donkey to be killed by a panther, and he hung it there as bait for the predator.

However, a veterinarian's report said the donkey's bulging eyes indicated the animal was alive when hung by its neck.

The state jail felony is punishable by 180 days to two years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.



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