TAMPA, Fla. – Two little dogs soaked and matted in urine and feces have been rescued by Hillsborough County’s Animal Control Services and Pet Resource Center.
In a Petition for Enjoinment filed on October 24 in the Hillsborough County courts, Bernard Williams of Tampa was paid a visit by an Animal Control Officer on January 2, 2021.
The officer told Williams he wished to see his animals. Williams granted the request and welcomed the Officer to come inside his apartment.
Upon entering Williams’ home, the officer was overwhelmed with a “strong odor of urine and feces” permeating the apartment. He also found “Sha Sha,” a white Shih Tzu mixed-breed dog, and “Lonesome,” a Maltese mixed-breed dog covered in mats of hair soaked with urine and feces.
The mats covered the animals from nearly head to tail. “Lonesome” was reported as “unable to walk properly due to the matting.”
On January 5 and 6, 2021, both animals were groomed and provided medical evaluations and preventive care through coordination between an animal abuse investigator and the county’s Pet Resource Center.
However, on October 11, 2022, Animal Control Services conducted a welfare check on the dogs only to find both were once again entangled from mats soaked in urine and feces. The Petition states, “The matting on Lonesome’s legs were attached to the matting on her stomach and limited her movement.”
The Petition also states, “The severe matting on Sha Sha’s face covered her eyes and did not allow her to see.” There was severe matting throughout her body as well.
Williams asked Animal Control Services if they could provide another grooming. The animal abuse investigator said “no,” and confiscated the animals who were then transported to Pet Resource Center.
A veterinarian reported that “Lonesome’s” right eye was ruptured and may need to be removed. Both animals required sedation to undergo grooming.
On October 18, 2022, the animal abuse investigator informed Williams of the dogs’ medical conditions. Williams confessed he could not take care of the animals which resulted in the filing of the Petition in the courts.
The Petition is a request that the court “permanently enjoin Williams from owning, harboring, or otherwise caring for animals.”
The case’s animal abuse investigator was Corporal Michael San Juan.