Salvador Carbajal Garcia, 40, was found guilty as charged of Aggravated Animal Cruelty following a two-day trial in Lee County. The jury returned the guilty verdict just before 8 p.m. last night. Garcia was taken into custody after the trial to await sentencing.
On March 4, 2019, an Animal Control Officer from Lee County Domestic Animal Services responded to a complaint about a dog tied to a basketball post in a driveway of a home in Lehigh Acres with no shelter. The officer found the dog with a leash, no collar, around his neck, tied in knots, attached to the post. The brown and white dog had a large open wound around his neck from the leash. The makeshift leash collar became embedded into the skin.
A veterinarian testified at trial that the wound on the dog’s neck was at least 25 days old. There was also no shelter and a small amount of water. The dog was in distress. There was a BMW in the driveway and the dog had been pulling to try to get to the car to find shelter but the knotted leash was not long enough.
The officer took custody of the dog to get him medical care as no one answered the door at the home. The defendant, who had the dog named “Walter” for several years, went to animal services to sign away custody of the dog. The Lee County Sheriff’s Office joined the investigation and arrested Garcia after gathering further evidence. The evidence included witnesses who had seen the ongoing problem of the lack of care of “Walter.”
“An animal owner must meet the basic responsibilities when it comes to the care of a pet; food, water, and shelter. Animal cruelty is against the law in Florida and those who violate the law will be prosecuted,” said State Attorney Amira Fox.
Sentencing is scheduled for March 2nd in front of the Honorable Judge Bruce Kyle. Assistant State Attorney Erin Hughes and Felony Court Chief Tyler Lovejoy prosecuted the case.
State Attorney’s Office