PALM HARBOR — A 45-year-old man is accused of beating and choking a 4-month-old puppy Wednesday afternoon because, authorities said, he was angry that the animal had defecated inside the house.
Pedro A. Remon of 374 Westwinds Drive was charged with cruelty to animals and violation of probation stemming from a 2009 Pasco County conviction for obtaining a controlled substance by fraud, according to arrest reports.
According to the reports, neighbors heard Remon beating the black and white pit bull mix, which was "constantly crying."
When deputies arrived at the home, the puppy was found stuck underneath a shed, unable to get out, a report said.
When confronted by a Pinellas County sheriff's deputy, Remon said he had beaten the puppy several times with a belt because it had defecated on the floor, authorities said.
The Sheriff's Office called investigators from SPCA Tampa Bay to the scene about 8:30 p.m.
Remon surrendered the puppy, named Tita, and another dog, a 2-year-old chihuahua also named Tita, to the SPCA, said spokeswoman Megan Trethewey.
"Thanks to the neighbors on that one," Trethewey said. "They contacted the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office because they heard unsettling noises coming from this guy's back yard."
The puppy was taken to a veterinarian, who said it had wounds on its head and bleeding in the whites of its eyes from hemorrhaging that appeared consistent with strangulation, Trethewey said.
The chihuahua had not been harmed.
Once the dogs are medically cleared and their dispositions are evaluated, they may be put up for adoption, Trethewey said.
"The good thing is we have two more animals that we're going to save their lives," she said. "Once they're medically evaluated and mentally evaluated and cleared, they'll be placed in loving homes."
On Thursday afternoon, Remon was being held without bail in the Pinellas County Jail.
Rita Farlow can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 445-4157.