Charlotte County man charged with animal cruelty for not seeking medical treatment for dog

Charlotte County man charged with animal cruelty for not seeking medical treatment for dog
Edmund Bittner is charged with animal cruelty and abandonment after allegedly failing to seek treatment for his dog as it developed a tumor and later had to be euthanized. (Source: Charlotte County Sheriff's Office)

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. (WWSB) - A Charlotte County man is charged with animal cruelty and abandonment after allegedly failing to seek treatment for his dog as it developed a tumor and later had to be euthanized.

In April, Edmund Bittner, 48, of Port Charlotte brought his dog, a German Shepard named "Callie," to the Animal Welfare League. Callie was 12- to 13-years-old and Bittner asked the shelter to euthanize the dog.

Staff say Callie had a large tumor protruding around 3 inches from her right eye socket that "reeked of necrosis/infection." Staff say Bittner told them Callie had been ill for a month and he had not been to see a veterinarian.

Callie was euthanized and her body was taken to the Punta Gorda Animal Hospital for evaluation. The mass was cancerous and staff determined Callie suffered terribly from pain from the tumor being allowed to progress that far.

The Port Charlotte Sun spoke to Animal Control Officer Reannon Juergensen, who said, “She had, I think it would be safe to say, about a grapefruit-size tumor bulging from her eye socket, along with some ear infections, skin infections, things of that nature.”

Animal Control say Callie suffered because of Bittner’s negligence, warranting a charge of animal cruelty, but also animal abandonment for failing to seek medical attention for Callie over an extended period of time.

Bittner was arrested Sunday and is currently free on bond.

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