Utica, NY (WIBX) - The owner of the dog left in freezing temperatures two weeks ago was in court yesterday to defend the actions on his part, that lead to his former pet being tied up outside on one of the coldest night this winter season. Michael Jenkins of Utica told the judge he took good care of the dog he named Matcho, before he ran away three days before he was found.

Utica Police ticketed Jenkins for his role in the incident and was ordered by Utica City Court Judge John S. Balzano to perform 75 hours of community service at the Stevens-Swan Humane Society, the group who took ownership of the Pitt Bull they renamed Apollo. However, Jerry Kraus, Public Relations and Marketing Director for the animal shelter said the assignment is not welcomed because of the negative affect it may have on the dog who he says is still recovering.

Kraus said, "We have respectfully asked Judge Belzano to reconsider that assignment for a number of different reasons. First being that when we do take community service people on to volunteer their hours as required by the court, we always ask to see if there was any kind of animal abuse or even spousal abuse involved and if so, we don't take them. We refer them on to go to another agency." He says the fact that this was an animal abuse investigation, Jenkins does not qualify to carry out his community service at the shelter.

Kraus says the Society reached out to Judge Balzano asking that he reconsider the assignment and said he agreed to look at other options.