Police: St. Pete couple let dog starve to death

ST. PETERSBURG — A young couple was arrested on animal cruelty charges this week after police say they allowed a dog to starve to death.

Mervin McGirt, 19, and Michelle Butts, 25, were booked into the Pinellas County Jail Thursday night.

Earlier that day, authorities had gone to Butts' home at 1805 20th Ave. S and discovered a grim scene — two emaciated dogs.

One of the canines was inside a metal cage in the backyard, dead.

Police said a co-worker had asked McGirt to care for the dog about two weeks ago. He then took it to Butts, his girlfriend. The couple put the dog in the back and abandoned it after that.

The other dog was tied to a fence without food or water, police said. It is unclear who owned that dog.

Records show Butts was released Friday from jail. McGirt, who also was arrested on charges of drug possession, remained there in lieu of $42,300 bail.

Police: St. Pete couple let dog starve to death 06/07/13 [Last modified: Friday, June 7, 2013 5:44pm]

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