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Roommates face animal cruelty charges for suffocating ailing pet

ST. PETERSBURG — The man told authorities he was just trying to end the suffering of his pet.

But investigators say the way Kenneth Frank, 72, and his roommate Robert Callahan, 50, went about doing that is a crime.

On July 24, authorities say, the two men suffocated Frank's 11-year-old chihuahua, which was sick and dying.

Authorities on Tuesday issued the men notices to appear in court on animal cruelty charges. According to investigators, Callahan first offered to put the ailing animal down. Frank agreed, and Callahan held a plastic bag over the dog's head for about 30 minutes. Frank told Pinellas sheriff's deputies he became concerned when he heard the dog whimper. At that point, the dog was alive but unresponsive. So Frank covered the dog's mouth with duct tape and placed a pillow over its head until it died, sheriff's officials said.

On Tuesday, Pinellas County Animal Services went to the men's home, 6115 56th Ave. N, to serve them both with the notices to appear in court. The SPCA exhumed the dog's body and plans to perform a necropsy.

Roommates face animal cruelty charges for suffocating ailing pet 08/03/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 3, 2010 11:14pm]
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