FLORIDA -- One-year-old Sparkles couldn’t reach her water bowl. The pit bull was tied to a wooden box, or a hot box, in February outside a Riviera Beach home, Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control officials said.
She was slowly starving to death, a veterinarian determined.
The man tasked with caring for her, David Hayes, was arrested Tuesday on animal-cruelty charges, jail records show. The 30-year-old was released from the Palm Beach County Jail later that day on a $3,000 bond.
Hayes was cited in March for failing to provide proper care for Sparkles, records show, and this month a judge signed a warrant for his arrest on animal-cruelty charges.
Hayes told officials his cousin’s girlfriend brought over the pit bull without his permission about a week before investigators arrived at his home. He refused to provide officials with contact information for either his cousin or the woman, records show.
Hayes said the dog was thin when the woman left her. He admitted the dog had been losing weight, but assured officials he’d been feeding her and planned to take her to a veterinarian that day.
Hayes agreed to surrender Sparkles to county Animal Care and Control, records show. A veterinarian said the dog had hookworms, which can be easily treated with over-the-counter medication. The parasite lives in the small intestines and affects the dog’s appetite.
Officials noted that Sparkles ate and drank well in their care. She steadily gained weight and was adopted in April by a family in Greenacres, records show.
About a week later the dog was found running loose. Animal Care and Control contacted her adopted family, who chose not to reclaim her. She was adopted by a family in Royal Palm Beach in June, but surrendered in late October after she bit the owner while he was trying to protect the family’s other dog from her.
The family told Animal Care and Control the dog was friendly with people but not good with other dogs.
The dog, who was renamed Coco, couldn’t be put back into the adoption program and was euthanized Nov. 8, officials said.
Hayes was the subject of an animal-cruelty investigation in 2008, according to his most recent arrest report. Three dogs reportedly were tethered to trees in his yard without access to water. During the investigation, though, Hayes and the dogs disappeared, an official noted.
Hayes also is facing drug-possession charges in an incident in late February, court records show. He pleaded not guilty to those charges.
Full Name: David C Hayes
Block: 900 W 2nd St
City: West Palm Beach, Florida 33404
Time: 8:24 AM
Arresting Agency: PBSO
#1 CONSERVATION-ANIMALS - CAUSE CRUEL DEATH PAIN AND SUFFERING.
#2 CONSERVATION-ANIMALS - KEEP ANIMALS IN ENCLOSURE WO EXERCISE AND AIR. STATUTE: 828.13-8116
(Palm Beach Post - Dec 29, 2016)