Sunday, June 24, 2018
Public safety

Valrico couple face cruelty charges in dog's severe neglect

HILLSBOROUGH — The dog's hide was so raw from mange that the strip of carpet where she rested painfully fused to her skin.

Hillsborough County Animal Services investigators learned of the dog, named Bella, after receiving an anonymous call earlier this week. They arrived at the house at 307 Brickyard Court in Valrico on Tuesday and found the pup lying in a lanai.

Her owners, Jamell Garrett, 41, and his wife, Sharhonda Garrett, 34, were arrested and face felony animal cruelty charges.

Investigators carefully pried the piece of carpet from Bella's severely scabbed and infected skin, said Animal Services spokeswoman Marti Ryan.

"This dog is in a miserable state," she said.

The Garretts told investigators they tried treating the dog's skin with over-the-counter medications and admitted to never taking Bella, believed to be a Labrador mix about 1 year old, to the veterinarian.

"They did state they had been dealing with this for a few weeks," Ryan said. "It is obvious that this condition took a lot longer to escalate."

A cat in good condition was also removed from the home.

Bella was taken to Animal Services, where she is under observation and undergoing treatment, including antibiotics and medicated baths.

It will take weeks for the dog's skin to heal. Bella's face and most of her body is red from the infection. Some small patches of her golden hair remain.

At about 30 pounds, she is also underweight.

When she begins to recover, Bella will be placed in a foster home.

"Soon, you will start to see her change and recover and respond and wag her tail," Ryan said. "We're hopeful."

The Garretts were booked into the Hillsborough County jail. They posted bail early Wednesday.

Animal Services was also investigating another case. Jennifer Torres, 34, of Tampa, was arrested Wednesday on felony animal cruelty and improper confinement charges.

Last week, investigators discovered her pitbull and hound mix, Roxy, covered in feces and severely underweight inside a bathroom at 3905 Wisconsin Ave. Roxy was taken to Animal Services, where she has already gained a few pounds, Ryan said.

Torres was booked into the Hillsborough County jail, where she remained Wednesday afternoon in lieu of $2,500 bail.

Comments
Police on scene at New Tampa traffic crash with critical injuries

Police on scene at New Tampa traffic crash with critical injuries

The Tampa Police Department is on scene at a traffic crash with critical injuries at New Tampa Boulevard and Wood Sage Drive.This is a developing story.Contact Paul Guzzo at [email protected] Follow @PGuzzoTimes.
Updated: 15 minutes ago
Police: St. Petersburg driver falls asleep at wheel after drinking, kills motorcyclist

Police: St. Petersburg driver falls asleep at wheel after drinking, kills motorcyclist

ST. PETERSBURG — A 22-year-old driver fell asleep at the wheel after drinking and ran a red light, hitting and killing a motorcyclist Saturday night, police said.Just before midnight, Michael P. Majchrowski, 48, was riding a 2016 BMW motorcycle eastb...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Suspect dead, 2 injured in St. Petersburg home invasion-turned-shooting

Suspect dead, 2 injured in St. Petersburg home invasion-turned-shooting

ST. PETERSBURG — Three people forced their way into a St. Petersburg house before dawn Sunday before gunfire broke out, killing a suspect and injuring two residents, police said.About 5:30 a.m., the people arrived at a house in Childs Park, on the 41...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Authorities find

Authorities find "inmate" who walked away from Bilirakis event

The 23-year-old man who authorities said walked away from a New Port Richey political event while under supervision of a treatment center on Saturday has been located.The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office described Nicholas Moore, 23, as both an "inmate"...
Published: 06/23/18
FHP: Wrong-way driver hit 100 miles per hour before sideswiping car

FHP: Wrong-way driver hit 100 miles per hour before sideswiping car

A Clearwater man who authorities said sideswiped a car while driving more than 100 miles per hour the wrong way on U.S. 41 was arrested Friday. Wendel Jamel James, 35, is charged with DUI with property damage, reckless driving and leaving the scene ...
Published: 06/23/18
Tampa boy, 14, shot on bike, police asking for help

Tampa boy, 14, shot on bike, police asking for help

TAMPA — Police want to know who shot 14-year-old De’Nico Thomas after a night of playing video games.Thomas was at a friend’s home Wednesday night and walking home when Tampa police said he was shot, resulting in life-threatening injuries.As he faces...
Published: 06/22/18
Clearwater police search for ‘Bic Bandit’ accused of stealing lighters

Clearwater police search for ‘Bic Bandit’ accused of stealing lighters

CLEARWATER — Police detectives are searching for a man coined the "Bic Bandit" based on reports that he’s stolen dozens of lighters from the same 7-Eleven.According to Clearwater police, the man has swiped the lighters four times in the last month, t...
Published: 06/22/18
FHP: One dead, three seriously injured in head-on Pasco crash

FHP: One dead, three seriously injured in head-on Pasco crash

DADE CITY — A Dade City man was killed and three others were seriously injured after a pickup truck and motorcycle crashed head-on Friday morning, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.Floyd Williamson, 72, of Lakeland, was driving northbound on U....
Published: 06/22/18
Body of missing Hernando park ranger found in Georgia; boyfriend being questioned

Body of missing Hernando park ranger found in Georgia; boyfriend being questioned

Georgia detectives on Friday recovered the body of Mitzi Marie Babb, a 43-year-old Hernando park ranger who had been missing since Tuesday.Her boyfriend, arrested Thursday on unrelated charges, has been called a person of interest in her disappearanc...
Published: 06/22/18
A Pasco driver was annoyed another driver was texting. So he pointed a firearm at her.

A Pasco driver was annoyed another driver was texting. So he pointed a firearm at her.

PORT RICHEY — A 41-year-old Uber driver was arrested Friday after police said he pointed a firearm at another driver because he was annoyed that she was texting and driving.Philip Macchio was driving near State Road 52 and U.S. 19 around 12:30 a.m. F...
Published: 06/22/18