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Police: Dead puppy in cookie box, diseased animals found inside owner's Tallahassee home

Posted at 2:59 PM, Oct 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-25 15:00:07-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — A Tallahassee man is facing felony animal cruelty charges after police found dead puppies and multiple disease-infested animals inside his home.

According to court documents, officers responded to a home in the 2900 block of Mission Road for an animal call back in June.

As officers arrived on scene, they found a black pitbull wandering in an adjoining yard. They say the dog was so skinny that you could see his ribs and spine through his skin.

The person who lived at the home was later identified as 35-year-old Antonio Ellison.

A nearby witness told officers that multiple dogs had been locked outside the home for several weeks. The witness also said it had been at least 15 days since he has seen anyone at the home, saying that no one had come by to give the dog food or water.

Officers began investigating the home and found buckets of "dirty, stagnant water with mosquito larva inside" that were near the dog's cage and no food. During the investigation of the home, officers found a second dog chained to a tree, laying on its side in the mud.

Later on, documents say a third dog was found at the home who police say recently had about a dozen puppies. This dog was also skinny and possibly sick.

Officers then spoke to a neighbor who said they they had not seen the puppies in the last few days and believed that they had died. The neighbor told officers that Ellison also had two snakes he kept at the home.

Officers say the inside of the home was dark and smelled "strongly of decaying matter and feces." In addition, officers noticed a large amount of flies coming from the trash can on the exterior of the home.

When police opened the trash can, they found a dead puppy inside of a cookie box, according to court documents. Police say there were numerous remains of other puppies in the trash can but they could not be collected due to "an advanced stage of decomposition."

During the investigation, a check of utilities revealed that the power at the home had been off since April.

Documents say the dogs and two snakes were later taken to be examined by a veterinarian at the Animal Shelter. Based on the medical evaluations, police confirmed that the animals had been victims of animal cruelty and neglect.

Notes from the evaluations indicate that the dogs were infected with multiple medical conditions including parasites, chronic infections, heart worms and fleas.

Based of the evidence, officers found that Ellison had abandoned the four dogs and two snakes he had custody over.

Police arrested Ellison and transported him to the Leon County Detention Facility on Wednesday. He is being charged with four counts of animal cruelty/neglect and two counts of felony animal cruelty.