A terminally-ill patient lost his dog last year while he was undergoing treatment and initially thought that his pet was merely missing. He later found out that his neighbor stole the dog from his backyard and had the animal euthanized in her home.

Mark Boehler of Spring Hill, Pittsburgh, was undergoing treatment for stage 3 esophageal cancer when his neighbor, Gisele Paris, stole his Siberian husky named Thor from his backyard on Thanksgiving Day last year.

After the disappearance of his dog from his home's fenced-in backyard, Boehler pleaded for the safe return of his pet thinking that Thor was only missing. He eventually learned that his neighbor took his pet and paid a licensed veterinarian to euthanize the dog in her home on Feb. 10 earlier this year.

On Friday, an Allegheny County jury found Paris guilty of theft by unlawful taking, cruelty to animals and receiving stolen property. The 58-year old, who now faces sentence that could range from probation to up to ten years behind bars, is set to appear again in court on March 12 for the sentencing.

"I was thrilled to death she got convicted," Boehler said. "If somebody did that to her dog, she would be crying like a baby. She knew what she did. She took that dog."

Christine Luffey, the police officer who arrested Paris in February, agreed with the decision of the jury saying that she had spoken with Boehler throughout the ordeal and he cried everytime they talked.

Defense attorney Robert Mielnicki, however, said that his client did not steal the dog. He maintained that Paris found Thor while she was taking a walk and that she took the dog and took care of it because it was sick and neglected.

A veterinarian who was asked to testify in the case though said that the dog was healthy and did not have life-threatening issues at the time it was killed. Boehler likewise admitted that his dog was not suffering albeit it had some health problems.

"He was everything I had," Boehler said. "I don't have no children, so they're like members of the family. Everybody that has a pet, they know that."

Paris also faces charges and is scheduled for trial next month for resisting arrest and assaulting an officer who went to arrest her for the incident involving Boehler's dog. She is currently out on a bond and was placed on a house arrest.

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