A Key West woman was jailed Friday after state prosecutors said she routinely choked her pit bull with its collar, picking it off the ground at times, and also abused her second dog.
Jillian Morgan Gotti, 40, was arrested Friday on charges of misdemeanor animal cruelty. She spent about one hour at the Stock Island Detention Center before being released on $5,000 bond.
The charges come from a May 6 incident in which Gotti reportedly abused her two dogs, Serenity the pit bull and Gizmo the Pomeranian mix, outside Turtle Kraals at the old seaport downtown, according to three employees at the restaurant and a patron who all watched and reported the cruelty.
One employee video taped Gotti and said later he has witnessed her beat the dogs before.
At times, she left the dogs on her boat in the sun for hours on end and has hit the pit bull, Serenity, in the face and thrown both dogs into her dinghy down at Key West Historic Seaport, according to the arrest affidavit filed July 13.
While being watched by Turtle Kraals customers May 6, Gotti was defiant, prosecutors said. On the video she calls Serenity a “dumb bitch” for drawing attention and curses at customers showing concern for her dogs.
“Gotti proceeded to tell everyone to mind their own business and flipped them off,” the arrest affadavit states.
Friday, both dogs were safe at the Florida Keys SPCA on Stock Island, the agency’s executive director Tammy Fox said.
“They are receiving daily love and interaction,” Fox said.
This article originally appeared on flkeysnews.com.
Gwen Filosa: @KeyWestGwen