Wanted Tallahassee man arrested for cruelty to animals

Wanted Tallahassee man arrested for cruelty to animals
Posted at 1:35 PM, Jul 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-05 09:37:23-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - A Tallahassee man has been arrested after investigators say a dog in his care was taken to the vet with a dislocated tail and injuries possibly caused by sexual abuse. 

Matthew Manderfield was arrested on Monday for felony cruelty to animals.

A court document says that on April 7, the City of Tallahassee Animal Control got a phone call from a doctor at the a local animal hospital in reference to an animal at their clinic that had injuries possibly caused by sexual abuse.

The doctor told investigators that the dog had been brought in with swelling and bruising in its inner left leg, trauma to the anus, and a tail that was completely dislocated from its spine. 

The doctor advised investigators that the trauma seemed to be non-accidental and, while not officially confirmed, they were not able to rule out sexual abuse as a cause of injuries to the dog.

The dog's tail was later amputated after being evaluated by another doctor.

When the woman who brought the dog in was asked if a person could've done this, the woman said that she and her boyfriend, Manderfield, were going through a breakup and that she had left her animals with him due to her living situation.

Once she heard that something was wrong with the dog through her friends, who had heard the news from Manderfield, she went to get it from his house. 

When asked what happened, he told her that he hadn't noticed anything when he left the house around 8 p.m. but when he got home around midnight, noted that the dog was acting unusual.

The woman told investigators that Manderfield had been "extremely verbally abusive" in the relationship and that she had asked him several times if he would hurt her animals, which he denied profusely. 

The woman provided police with a sworn written statement. 

In text messages documented in the arrest report, Manderfield denied multiple times that he ever abused the animal, saying "I have never and would never hurt him [dog]," and that he had contacted her immediately after he had realized something was wrong.

Investigators say that the text messages between the two confirmed that the house the dog was in was not broken into and that no one else was home at the time the incident was reported.

Due to the dog being in Manderfield's care at the time of the injuries and the nature of the injuries, he was arrested for felony cruelty to animals. 

A warrant for his arrest was signed on June 29. He was arrested on Monday.