By Ryan Gaydos
Published August 29, 2019
A former Major League Baseball top draft pick has been accused of abandoning his 14-year-old dog to die at his Pennsylvania apartment.
Hampden Township police said officers discovered the decaying body of Shawn Abner’s husky on Aug. 7 while responding to a report of an odor emanating from his apartment, Penn Live reported Wednesday, citing court filings.
Abner, who was drafted by the New York Mets with the No. 1 overall pick in the 1984 MLB Draft, allegedly made no plans for anyone to take care of the dog while he visited his girlfriend in Kansas in July, according to WHP-TV. Abner reportedly admitted he had no one caring for the dog and did not plan to stay in Kansas for as long as he did.
A Human Society official gave a gruesome description of the scene in Abner’s apartment.
The officer said the fur from the animal was starting to fall out and that the dog had been dead for at least a month, according to WHP-TV.
Police said the face was decomposing and maggots had swarmed the body, according to Penn Live. The corpse was “decaying so badly that it was becoming part of the floor,” police said.
Abner posted a photo on Aug. 7 lamenting the death of his dog.
He has been charged with aggravated cruelty to animals, a felony. He faces up to seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine. He also received misdemeanor charges of cruelty to animals and neglect of animals.
Abner played six seasons in the majors. Though he was drafted by the Mets, he never appeared in a game with them. He was traded to the San Diego Padres in 1986 with Kevin Armstrong, Kevin Brown, Stan Jefferson and Kevin Mitchell for Adam Ging, Kevin McReynolds and Gene Walter.
He made his debut with the Padres in 1987 and played more than five seasons with them before being traded to the California Angels. He last played for the Chicago White Sox in 1992. He hit .227 with a .269 OBP and 11 home runs in 902 MLB plate appearances.