Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Deputies: Pinellas man left 17-year-old dog in 'deplorable' conditions

A Pinellas County man was charged with cruelty to animals Saturday after deputies said his aging German shepherd mix was in such "deplorable" condition it had to be euthanized.

Deputies were called after the dog, Rocky, was found emaciated and covered in fleas while wandering the Caroline Trailer Court complex at 6418 Haines Road on Saturday morning.

They traced the dog back to its owner, Jason L. Aldridge, 38, who said he hadn't noticed that the 17-year-old animal was missing.

Aldridge had been feeding Rocky from a plastic bag of food that was infested with bugs, deputies said. The dog's bed and sleeping area were covered in urine and feces, and its food and water bowls were empty. Rocky's hair was thin, and a large tumor, several inches wide, hung between the dog's legs.

Aldridge told deputies the dog's health had been deteriorating but that he hadn't taken Rocky to a veterinarian because he didn't have the money. Pinellas County Animal Services removed the dog from the home, but its condition was so bad that the animal had to be euthanized that afternoon.

Aldridge was charged with felony cruelty to animals and booked into the Pinellas County Jail. He was released Saturday afternoon on $5,000 bail.

Pinellas County Animal Services spokesman Doug Brightwell said the dog was taken to a veterinarian in 2012. At that time, the dog was "a little on the thin side," he said, at 65 pounds.

On Saturday, Rocky weighed 47 pounds.

Claire Wiseman can be reached at or (727) 893-8804. Follow @clairelwiseman on Twitter.

This story has been changed to reflect the following correction: Pinellas County Animal Services had not previously encountered the ill and malnourished dog that had to be euthanized this past weekend. The agency provided information about the dog's health in 2012 that was gleaned from a visit to a veterinarian's office. A story Tuesday was incorrect on the source of that information.

Deputies: Pinellas man left 17-year-old dog in 'deplorable' conditions 04/28/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 29, 2014 2:19pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Tampa man turns himself in for Sunday hit and run fatality

    Public Safety

    A Tampa man was arrested early Sunday after he struck and killed a pedestrian, left the scene, and then called 911 to turn himself in.

  2. Tom Jones' Two Cents: Bucs, Jaguars both get blame for terrible preseason ratings

    TV and Radio

    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst of a weekend in televised sports.

    Worst matchup

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans (13) tries to get past Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Brian Dixon (41) and safety Barry Church (42) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack) JVS119
  3. Hernando County Sheriff's Office: Deputies shoot suicidal woman who brandished shotgun


    BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County Sheriff's deputies shot a woman they believed to be suicidal after she pointed a shotgun at them Sunday, according to a police report.

  4. Trump administration disbands federal advisory committee on climate change


    WASHINGTON - The Trump administration has decided to disband the federal advisory panel for the National Climate Assessment, a group aimed at helping policymakers and private-sector officials incorporate the government's climate analysis into long-term planning.

    President Donald Trump. [Associated Press]
  5. Blake Snell shines as Rays beat Mariners to end skid (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Blake Snell delivered the best outing of his young career and the Rays offense continued its home run-hitting ways for a 3-0 victory Sunday against the Mariners in front of 13,354 at Tropicana Field.

    Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (3) with starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) after the top of the seventh inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.