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Elected Pennsylvania Official Arrested for Starving Dog


Washington County Controller, April Sloane, has been arrested and charged with aggravated animal cruelty after her dog starved to death last month, reported CBS affiliate KDKA News. The canine, Thor, died from “severe emaciation,” and, according to court documents, lived “in deplorable conditions.” Sloane admitted her dog passed away “due to not being properly cared for” after police conducted a search warrant at her home in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, last week.

Dog weighed 20 pounds at the time of his death

A necropsy report revealed the dog had 0% body fat at the time of his death. Furthermore, he weighed only 20 pounds, less than half of his ideal weight. The report also stated that the canine had no signs of any serious illness or injuries.

Police found Thor’s body stuffed in a garbage bag in a corner of Sloane’s basement garage. According to authorities, the dog died on Nov. 27. However, it wasn’t until they received an anonymous tip on Dec. 6 that they became aware of the incident. What’s more, Sloane originally led authorities to believe “the dog’s remains were buried on a friend’s farm,” as per reporting by WTAE.

Upon being charged with the third-degree felonies, it was ordered that “two other pets … be removed from her home.” The judge also ordered Sloane “to report for a mental health assessment.”

Public officials call for April Sloane’s resignation

Following the arrest, several Washington County officials have demanded Sloane resign from her position. In fact, seven joined together this week to write a letter urging her to leave the post. Sloane was elected to the office two years ago.

“Sloane is clearly in a mental health crisis by definition of what she does,” Washington County Commissioner Nick Sherman told KDKA News. Sherman further mentioned Sloane is “not in sound body mind.” That concerns him because “this is a big position that she has with the controller.”

“This is all the finances of the county,” Commissioner Sherman explained. He added, “it’s imperative that we have someone in there that understands the office.”

Continuing, Sherman stressed the importance of the controller having “the mental capacity to handle the large responsibility of the finances of the county.” Furthermore, he suggested that “no one besides one in a mental health crisis would do something like this.”

In the meantime, the public officials have made financial contributions in the dog’s name to the Washington County Abused Animal Relief Fund.

According to Observer-Reporter, the Washington County Republican Party (WCRP) released a statement, wherein they mentioned that they are “aware of the severity of the charges filed against” Sloane.

“Because of their nature, WCRP will no longer associate ourselves with her,” the statement reads in part. “Our sincere condolences go out to all those impacted by this horrific situation.”

Sloane is due to appear in court for a preliminary hearing on Dec. 19.


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