CUMBERLAND COUNTY — Former Major League Baseball prospect Shawn Abner will serve up to 23 months in prison for leaving his 14-year-old dog to die in a Hampden Township home last August.
Abner, the No. 1 overall pick in the 1984 Major League Draft, pleaded guilty to a felony count of aggravated animal cruelty last November. Cumberland County Judge Albert H. Masland imposed a sentence of 4 1/2 to 23 months in prison at a hearing this week, according to court documents.
A former standout at Mechanicsburg High School, Abner played for the San Diego Padres, California Angels, and Chicago White Sox after the New York Mets made him the top pick in the 1984 draft.
Abner was arrested in Topeka, Kansas on an arrest warrant filed by Hampden Township Police in August 2019, after a neighbor discovered the body of his dog, named Eagle, earlier that month.
According to the complaint, Abner asked the neighbor to check on his dog, which was found dead just inside the doorway.
When told his dog was dead, Abner allegedly told the neighbor to “bury it somewhere,” because he would not return to Pennsylvania for a few more days, according to the complaint.
Police say the dog had been dead for about a month when its body was found.
Abner later told police he left Pennsylvania in July to visit his girlfriend in Kansas, and had not planned on staying long. He said he left food and water for Eagle but admitted he had no one caring for him, according to the complaint.