DOVER, Fla. – A call from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office has led the Animal Control Service to file a Petition for Enjoinment in a case involving an animal that choked to death.
According to the Petition, “China” and “Love,” two American Staffordshire mixed-breed dogs, once belonged to Gustavo and Linda Tzaj-Mendez, residents in Starlite Mobile Home Park.
On February 8, however, an Animal Control officer found “China” hanging from the neck with a collar and vinyl-coated tether which was “tangled around a shovel lifting China’s front feet off the ground and resulting in death.” China was alone in the back fenced-in yard.
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“Love” was found in the front yard tethered as well, but with a severe left-eye wound discharging pus and blood.
Linda Tzaj-Mendez told the Animal Control officer the dogs were always tethered before leaving for work because they would escape the property and fight other dogs. She explained that “Love” had been in a fight, which caused the eye injury, and that Gustavo Tzaj-Mendez had been applying ointment. She indicated the dog was not provided any veterinary medical treatment.
A citation for animal cruelty was issued and both dogs were confiscated. “Love” was transported to a Veterinary Emergency Group for medical care.
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To prevent the mistreatment or negligence of other animals, the Petition requested on February 22 that the Mendez’s rights to own, care for, or harbor other animals be permanently prohibited.
The court must determine them as “unable, unfit or unwilling” to adequately provide animal care to grant the request.
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