TAMPA, Fla. – A mixed-breed English bulldog named “Poppa” was attacked at least twice in recent months by dogs in the University Square neighborhood. Despite his grave wounds, his owners neglected to seek medical care although he cried out in agony if touched.
On August 18, the Animal Control Division of Hillsborough County filed a “Petition for Enjoinment” to permanently prohibit Poppa’s two owners from owning, harboring, or otherwise caring for animals.
Poppa’s owners were Alayah Thomas and Trayvon Jackson, both of Tampa.
According to the Petition, a complaint of negligence had been called into the Animal Control Division concerning Poppa’s condition on June 29.
When Animal Control arrived at Thomas’ residence, the “pungent odor” of rotting flesh overwhelmed the officer. Thomas led the officer to a rear bedroom where Poppa lay wrapped in soiled bandages. No medical care had been administered to the dog. Thomas stated she thought the dog was dying.
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Thomas signed an “Owner Surrender” form and Poppa was transported to the county’s Pet Resource Center.
On the same day, an animal abuse investigator met with Poppa’s attending veterinarian staff who were unwrapping the dog’s soiled bandages. The Petition states, “Under the bandages live maggots were found feeding on the flesh of “Poppa’. As ‘Poppa’ was being cleaned off the flesh on the top of the back was necrotic and the flesh on the ribs was peeling off the body. Blistering was observed from the base of the head to the base of the tail and down both sides of the ribs. The cornea on the right eye was ruptured from the eye.”
A veterinarian from the Veterinary Emergency Group in Tampa recommended “humane euthanasia” for the dog.
Thomas initially refused to provide Animal Control with information on her boyfriend, Jackson, who shared responsibility for Poppa. She stated that four days before their arrival, the Poppa was attacked by two dogs. She stated she did not witness the attack, but immediately bathed Poppa, noting that his flesh was falling off.
When animal control interviewed neighbors about Poppa on July 11, Jackson showed up and gave a false last name of “Howard.” He stated “Popp had been losing flesh for a month before Animal Control came to Thomas’ apartment and had been previously attacked. At a later date, Animal Control verified “Howard’s” correct last name as Jackson.
On July 18, a final necropsy report was issued on Poppa, stating he “suffered from severe fungal and bacterial infections causing his flesh to become necrotic and his organs to fail due to sepsis.”
Poppa was humanely euthanized on an undisclosed date.