Florida Keys

He beat up a 5-pound poodle. The dog recovered, but the man is facing prison time.


A Keys man who represented himself at trial now faces five years in prison for beating a 5-pound poodle until its owner believed it was dead.

Armando Corzo Jr., 38, of Big Pine Key, was convicted by a jury June 22 of beating his ex-girlfriend’s miniature dog after a nearly two-day trial at the Monroe County Courthouse before Judge Mark Jones.

Ameretta was found by her owner Teresa Alo on April 25 with smashed teeth, bruised ears and blood in her urine.

Witnesses described the dog as appearing lifeless but she has recovered from her severe injuries, said Monroe State Attorney’s Office spokesman Larry Kahn.

Corzo told the jury the state had no evidence he harmed the dog.

The jury returned a verdict within an hour: guilty on one count of aggravated animal cruelty.

On April 25, Alo came home from work to find Ameretta in the hallway of her Big Pine Key apartment. The dog was unable to move, she said.

Alo asked Corzo what he had done.

“F--- these dogs,” he replied, according to the arrest report.

Corzo had been getting upset with Alo's two dogs, both miniature poodles, having accidents in the home and had started to take more severe disciplinary actions with them, police reported.

Alo took the dog to the veterinarian, who testified the dog’s injuries were caused by blunt force trauma.

Police found blood in spots around the apartment. Corzo was the only person at Alo’s home at the time, witnesses said.

After the jury’s verdict, Corzo asked the judge for a public defender.

A sentencing date hasn’t been set.

Corzo remains at the Stock Island Detention Center with no bond allowed.