Crime

Cops found the pit bull ‘on death’s door.’ His owner is in jail for animal cruelty

COURTESY SUNRISE POLICE DEPARTMENT

A Sunrise woman was arrested and charged with animal cruelty on Saturday after police officers responded to an anonymous tip and found a starving, 2-year-old pit bull in a small cage, covered in “eight piles of loose, diarrhea-like feces,” according to an arrest report provided by the Sunrise Police Department.

The dog’s owner, Lisamarie Charles, 38, was arrested and charged with animal cruelty, a third-degree felony that can result in up to five years in prison or a fine of up to $10,000 or both. Charles was taken to the Broward main jail.

When officers entered Charles’ apartment in the evening on June 15, they were struck by an overwhelming odor of urine and feces, according to the arrest report. They found the dog — named Eshu — in a tiny cage that did not allow the animal to stand fully upright. From the cage, the animal had no access to food or water and his bones were visible through his skin. The dog was bleeding from both the nose and tail, according to the report.

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Sunrise Police responded to an anonymous tip on June 15, and found a 2-year-old pit bull malnourished and covered in his own feces. Courtesy Sunrise Police Department

Amy Roman, owner of 100+ Abandoned Dogs of the Everglades, the animal rescue organization that received the original tip about the alleged abuse, told police the pit bull appeared to be “on death’s door.”

According to the arrest report, “the animal was subjected to a long period of repeated malnutrition and mistreatment” that resulted in “unjustifiable pain and suffering.”

The treatment could have resulted in the death of the animal, according to the Sunrise Police Department’s statement on the arrest.

The pit bull has renamed “McCarthy,” after Officer Colleen McCarthy the police office who rescued him, and is under the care of 100+ Abandoned Dogs of the Everglades, according to the statement.

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