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Man arrested in 'disturbing' case of animal cruelty in Cambria Co.

Neighbor records incident and turns it over to police

By: Jackalyn Kovac

SOUTH FORK, Pa. -- South Fork resident Jesse Gaydos was recording video of what police say was his neighbor Matthew Gibala kicking and punching Iris, a mini pinscher.

The video is tough to watch. In it, you can see Gibala kick the animal and hold it by its hind legs while shaking it violently.

"He just starts stomping on the dog's head, and you can hear it in the video, if you turn up the volume you can actually hear the dog yelping because he is stepping on the poor thing," said Gaydos. "Honestly I wanted to beat him up for it 'cause that's just wrong. You don't do that to a poor dog."

Investigators found two dogs inside the Grant Street home. Both were checked out by veterinarians. The smaller of the two dogs, Iris, has bruises on her belly. The other, Sampson, had some bleeding behind his eye, and an older injury. Gibala adopted both dogs from the Cambria County Humane Society just three weeks ago.

"When you see a video of what is going on with these dogs, it just kills you," said  shelter Executive Director Jeannine Gailey. "They do sign a contract whenever they adopt from us that they are to care for these animals forever, and obviously that wasn't happening. So we were able to go back in and reclaim ownership of the dogs."

Iris is receiving round-the-clock care and Sampson is staying at the shelter.

Gibala faces several charges, including two misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty and one count of disorderly conduct for allegedly doing all of this in front of three children.

Gibala was arraigned by Judge Rick Varner Wednesday afternoon and his bond was set at $10,000. Gibala's next court date is scheduled for Feb. 20.

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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times