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A 53-year-old Nicholson man could face as much as two years in prison and a $5,000 fine after pleading guilty to a felony cruelty to animals charge in Wyoming County.

John W. Barber, of State Route 374, Nicholson Township, also admitted responsibility for a theft in 2017, for which he could also face five years time.

Court records note that investigators found two dead dogs in an adjacent structure to where a Washington Township fire took place on April.

The incident came to light on April 5 when Meshoppen Police Chief John Krieg responded to a structure fire call at 9 Mountain Road, near Vosburg, and discovered two deceased dogs inside the residence but not in any proximity to the fire.

A humane officer made a determination that the animals had been deceased for quite awhile as their bodies started to be decomposed.

A neighbor of the residence told investigators in April that Barber told him the dogs belonged to Barber’s daughter, and he was watching them for her although he hadn’t seen the dogs in over a month.

Barber will be sentenced at a later date.