Venice Woman Charged with Animal Cruelty

NEWS RELEASE 18-032 - FEBRUARY 16, 2018
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The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office charged a 52-year-old Venice woman after deputies responded to her home and found three crated dogs living among piles of trash and feces.

Deputies first responded to 980 Sandlewood Drive on January 25 for a welfare check after a citizen called to report the front door to the home was left open. When deputies arrived, they heard whining noises coming from inside the home and when they entered, saw mounds of debris stacked from the floor to the ceiling. Deputies determined the noises were coming from three buried pet carriers. Within each of the carriers, the animals sat among urine and feces, without access to food or water. The few food bowls within the home were infested with live and dead insects rendering the animals unable to eat or drink. An Agricultural Unit deputy met with the dog’s owner Cornelia Cook the following day, who admitted she could not remember when two of the three dogs were last groomed. Upon examination by a veterinarian, the two adult dogs (Fin and Gus) were so severely neglected, they both had matted fur which caused Fin to be unable to see or hear. He was later anesthetized and completely shaved.

The three Yorkshire terriers, Max (approximately 9 months old), Fin and Gus (approximately 2 years old) were all placed into the custody of Animal Services and later rescued and adopted. Cook was charged Thursday with felony Aggravated Animal Cruelty, Confinement without Wholesome Food or Water, and Cruelty to Animals; both misdemeanors. She was released Thursday afternoon on $13,000 bond.