NEW PORT RICHEY — The tortured squeals became too much to bear.
Jennifer Bijaczyk looked out her kitchen window, across her back yard, to the neighbor's porch about 7:45 p.m. Sunday. More squeals. Behind the porch screen, Bijaczyk said, a woman held a broom handle above her head and swung.
Bijaczyk said she didn't even think about it. She was over the chest-height fence and in the woman's yard before she knew what happened. On the porch, she had a clearer view:
A 4-month-old dachshund had soiled her bed, a Pasco County Sheriff's Office report states. The puppy lay there in a pool of her own blood. It poured from her mouth and snout. Bumps covered her forehead. Her eyes were bloodshot. She shook and whimpered.
Beside her on the floor was a shattered vase. Sea shells scattered everywhere. Jacqueline Jeffries, 47, stood over the tiny brown puppy, muttering.
Bijaczyk snatched up the puppy in her arms and ran to a neighbor's house to call 911. She said Jeffries came after her with the broom. Bijaczyk ran. Jeffries tried to grab the puppy away, authorities said. She dug her fingernails into Bijaczyk's back.
When Pasco sheriff's deputies arrived, they found Bijaczyk sitting in her car with the puppy, her shirt covered in blood.
That night, she couldn't sleep. She took a day off work Monday.
"I just keep seeing that puppy's face," Bijaczyk said.
The puppy was taken by county animal services, she said. She does not know the puppy's name. She said she hasn't heard how the puppy is doing because the investigation is ongoing.
"My biggest worry," she said, "is that they'll give her back."
Deputies arrested Jeffries, of 7601 Como Drive, on charges of simple battery, assault and animal cruelty. She remained Monday in the Land O'Lakes jail in lieu of $5,300 bail.