Tampa dog owners arrested on animal cruelty charges

Published Feb. 6, 2013

TAMPA — A man and a woman were arrested Monday after investigators discovered three dogs — two of them dead — under their home, Hillsborough County Animal Services said.

Investigators arrived at 3409 E Shadowlawn Ave. after receiving an anonymous tip about an emaciated dog on the property and found three dogs under the house.

Two of the dogs had been dead for some time, said animal services spokeswoman Marti Ryan. But investigators also found a blind pit bull and Labrador mix that was underweight and covered in fleas.

The dog, estimated to be about 3 years old, was taken to animal services for treatment, where she is recovering.

Her owners, Theresa Scottwingate, 48, and James Dean Davis III, 45, told investigators they didn't have money for dog food and were feeding the dog scraps, Ryan said.

Scottwingate and Davis were arrested days later. They each face charges of animal cruelty, unlawful confinement of an animal and two counts of unlawful disposal of a dead animal.

They were booked into the Hillsborough County jail. Scottwingate was released on $3,000 bail.

Davis remained at the jail Tuesday in lieu of $3,000 bail.