A man who left his dog to die on Mount Bierstadt says he has been getting death threats, even though he has paid vet bills and agreed to turn over the dog to one of the rescuers.

Anthony Ortolani said Sunday he is giving the German shepherd mix to one of the people who climbed the Colorado mountain to rescue Missy after the animal spent eight days on her own last month. Rescuers found Missy bloodied and close to death on a ridge.

Ortolani is charged with animal cruelty for leaving the dog behind on a mountain climbing trip. His lawyer, Jennifer Edwards, said her client hopes to make a plea deal.

Ortolani told KMGH-TV (http://tinyurl.com/8oapmtf) he was forced to leave the dog on the mountain after the animal got injured. He said he and a friend tried to carry the 112-pound dog for more than two hours over rocky terrain, but he worried for his safety and had to abandon her.

___

Information from: KMGH-TV, http://www.thedenverchannel.com