TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - A Tallahassee man has been charged with felony animal cruelty after he pretended his starving, neglected dog was a stray and called animal control officers to come pick it up.
Dalton Allen, 24, was arrested by the Leon County Sheriff's Office on August 25.
On March 27, the City of Tallahassee Animal Control received a call from Allen asking for them to come to his home and pick up a dog he found the day before. When Animal Control officers arrived on scene, he told them the dog was a stray.
Allen said he brought the dog inside his home and fed it a pack of ham, bread, and water. He explained he had been staying at a relative's house and came back to his home to check on the dog.
The dog was taken to a shelter for evaluation where he was found to be severely emaciated, extremely weak, severely hydrated, severely hypoalbuminemic, flea infested, hook worm infested, and heartworm positive. The police report states, the dog also had "a stiff and painful stance" that indicated the dog had been consistently confined in a small area.
According to a doctor, the dog was the victim of cruelty/neglect and suffered from chronic starvation, severe parasites, prolonged confinement in undersized housing, and a lack of basic care.
Approximately two months later, Animal Control officers interviewed Allen's ex-girlfriend who identified the dog as "Pocket." She told officers that's the same dog they shared when they were a couple.
Documents say she explained they got Pocket during their three-year relationship, but when they broke up in Dec. 2017, Allen kept Pocket when she moved out.
When officers interviewed Allen a second time in August, he stated, "It was my dog at one point." He explained it had run away during a storm in Sept. 2017, when he and his ex-girlfriend were still together .
According to the police report, he moved out of his trailer and was trying to sell it, but came back daily to check on the property. He said one day, approximately a week and a half before he called Animal Control, he came to his trailer and found the dog on his back porch.
Allen indicated someone must have put the dog on his porch due to the way the items on the porch were placed to keep the dog from getting back out.
He told officers that the "people who had it before" must have not been feeding the dog but said he didn't know who had it, reiterating that he simply returned to the trailer and found the dog. Allen stated the dog was always skinny and tested positive for heartworms before it ran away in 2017.
Investigating officers were unable to confirm Allen's story, leading police to charge him with felony animal cruelty. He was taken to the Leon County Detention Center and has since bonded out.