Deputies: Woman strangled her dog so nobody else could have it

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Posted: Tuesday, January 21, 2014 10:08 am | Updated: 11:09 am, Mon Nov 17, 2014.

OSPREY, FL. - The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office has arrested a woman for killing her dog in a cruel and painful manner, because she didn't want anyone else to have it.

Sarasota County Animal Services was contacted by the Venice Police Department in November after receiving a report that 28-year-old Shelley Bezanson had killed her 7-year-old dog, Diamond, and planned to bury it at her mother's Base Avenue home in Venice.

"She killed the dog by strangling it with its own chain." Sheriff's spokesperson Wendy Rose says after receiving a tip, Bezanson confessed to the November killing. “She turned up the music as she was killing the dog so she didn't disturb the neighbors."

According to property managers, Bezanson was told large dogs were not allowed in the mobile home park even before she moved in.

The sheriff's office says their investigation revealed the woman had been trying to get her veterinarian to put diamond down. “The veterinarian said there is no ethical reason. This is a healthy seven year old female with no behavioral issues," says Rose.

According the sheriff's report, the woman said she did it because she promised the dog they would be together until the end.

Bezanson only owned the dog for around a year.

“She was an angel. She was a great dog. We thought we were sending her to a fantastic home," says Kristi Dorman, Executive Director at the Humane Society of Sarasota County.

She says Diamond was originally left by somebody, tied to a pole outside their facility. She says like always they go through an extensive matching process while making sure the animals go to good homes. She says they and other local organizations would have been happy to help. "If she would have notified us, we would have brought the dog right back into our facility and taken great care of her."

A necropsy determined Diamond’s death was prolonged, painful, cruel, excessive, and completely unnecessary.

Bezanson was taken into custody Friday and charged with Cruelty to Animals: Resulting in Cruel Death. She is being held on $25,000 bond.

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Welcome to the discussion.


  • jaokguy posted at 9:35 pm on Sat, Jan 25, 2014.

    jaokguy Posts: 2

    No, she deserves to be sent to PRISON for life.

  • JGonzalez posted at 9:52 pm on Wed, Jan 22, 2014.

    JGonzalez Posts: 1

    I so wish there was some "law" that required vets who have been approached to euthanize a healthy pet to report this to the sheriff or other organization that could do a follow up. Just think of how a dog must be treated by an owner who wants it to be killed/dead. I can only imagine the life her dog experienced even before she, the owner tightened the collar around her pet's neck....after she turned on the music. Frankly it seems almost unethical that the vet did not do so, especially when the owner supposedly told the vet that she would not surrender or give it to anyone else. Logic dictates that something bad/horrible is going to happen to that animal.
    I would love to hear a vet's perspective.

  • april21377 posted at 12:51 pm on Wed, Jan 22, 2014.

    april21377 Posts: 1

    SECOND - research the facility for more inappropriate matches & try to save lives.
    THIRD - if someone tells you not to have a pet where you live - YOU FIND ANOTHER PLACE TO LIVE, IF YOU TRULY LOVE YOUR PET.
    FOURTH - CALL YOUR PUBLIC OFFICIALS AND DEMAND HARSHER TREATMENT FOR ANIMAL ABUSERS. There are so many animals looking for GOOD homes, and the facilities cannot handle the background checks and basic security these animals deserve before they are placed.

  • Rhiannon posted at 10:43 pm on Tue, Jan 21, 2014.

    Rhiannon Posts: 1

    This is heartbreaking. Poor Diamond had known a life of abuse and neglect...was rescued and then given to a woman who ends her life in the most horrible fashion and for pure selfish reasons. The people at the shelter who housed Diamond must be devastated. I hope this killer does not have children...imagine what she might do to them. RIP one else will hurt you again.

  • ohhell posted at 6:45 pm on Tue, Jan 21, 2014.

    ohhell Posts: 3

    i hope that she gets what she deserves. poor dog.

  • tim posted at 11:03 am on Tue, Jan 21, 2014.

    tim Posts: 106

    this woman needs to be sent to a mental institution FOR LIFE.


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