TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - A Tallahassee woman was charged with aggravated animal cruelty after investigators said they found three dogs suffering from serious malnutrition.
Courtney Breon Barkley, 26, was booked into the Leon County Detention Center on Friday and remained in jail Monday on a $15,000 bond.
Information about the emaciated dogs at a Southern Drive residence was posted on Facebook, according to a probable cause affidavit.
"The dogs were tethered to objects in the yard and left in the heavy rain with no available shelter," a court document said. The dogs had fleas and hookworms.
After a woman who runs an animal rescue program confronted Courtney about the dogs' conditions on Aug. 14, 2018, Courtney signed a release for one dog, saying she was the owner, and relinquished all rights to it.
Courtney refused to give up the other two dogs, saying they belonged to her brother.
A veterinarian said the relinquished dog was near death, court documents said. An LCSO deputy wrote that the animal was "malnourished to the point where its skin sank between its rib cage" and had sores on its left hind leg.
On the morning of Aug. 15, 2018, a Leon County Animal Control officer visited Barkley's residence to find out whether there was a loose animal and to make a welfare check on the other dogs there. But the officer did not see any dogs running loose.
About 2 p.m. on Aug. 15, 2018, returning to the area, the Animal Control officer took a second dog from the complainant, a neighbor, court documents said.
Courtney had given up the second dog when the neighbor confronted her about the condition of her other dogs and told her the dog she had with her was in no shape to be walking. The officer took the dog to the Animal Service Center.
On Aug. 16, 2018, the Animal Control officer returned to Courtney's residence to check on the third dog, court documents said. Courtney surrendered the dog to the officer to avoid mandatory removal and possible citations.
A neighbor told an LCSO investigator that Courtney said that she fed the dogs "Whenever I remember or when I have food."
Although Courtney told the neighbor that two of the dogs were not hers and so she was not responsible for them, the neighbor told an investigator he believed she owned all three dogs.