The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office Agricultural Unit arrested a woman Thursday in connection with the malnourishment and abandonment of two dogs.
The investigation began on July 6, when Animal Services Officers were contacted by a concerned neighbor. Officers arrived at 4417 Maraldo Drive in North Port, and found two dogs confined to a lanai that was covered in urine and feces, without access to food or water. Given the physical condition of the animals, they were immediately transported to a local veterinarian for evaluation and treatment. “Remy”, a male Boxer mix was extremely emaciated, and “Puppy,” a female Pit Bull mix was covered in fleas and missing patches of fur. Based on the criminal nature of the case, the investigation was turned over to the Agricultural Unit. Deputies attempted to make contact with the homeowner for several weeks to no avail.
On August 3, deputies contacted resident Kelsy Lewis, DOB 07/19/91, in Port Charlotte. Lewis stated she moved out in early March just before her boyfriend was arrested and was unaware of who was caring for the dogs. Deputies interviewed her boyfriend who confirmed that Lewis stated several times that she was caring for the dogs while he was incarcerated. Neighbors also confirmed Lewis was living at the house until early July.
Lewis is charged with two felony counts of Animal Cruelty – Failure to Act, and two misdemeanor counts of Animal Cruelty – Abandonment of Animals. She remains in custody at the Sarasota County Jail on $4,000 bond.
Following the investigation, Remy was euthanized due to aggressive behavior. Puppy will soon be available for adoption through the Animal Services section.