Abandoned dog in DeSoto euthanized; reward offered for tips in abuse investigation

"Momma," the pit bull mix found discarded in a trash bag in Arcadia was euthanized Jan. 12 when...
"Momma," the pit bull mix found discarded in a trash bag in Arcadia was euthanized Jan. 12 when it was determined she would not recover from cancer.(DeSoto County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Jan. 12, 2022 at 1:16 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 12, 2022 at 2:06 PM EST
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UPDATED at 2 p.m. with the dog being euthanized.

DESOTO COUNTY, Fla. (WWSB) - Deputies in DeSoto County are looking for whoever left a malnourished dog inside a trash bag on the side of a road in Arcadia.

The female pit bull mix was also severely dehydrated when a passerby found the dog in a bag on the ground near an intersection in Arcadia.

After being examined Wednesday, the dog was found to have advanced cancer. Given her poor condition, veterinarians determined a recovery was unlikely, so the dog was euthanized Wednesday, DeSoto County Animal Control officials said.

The animal abuse investigation is continuing, the DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office said. Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for anyone with information that leads to an arrest in this case.

DeSoto deputies on Monday afternoon were called to the scene after someone walking their dog noticed an oddly shaped trash bag and called 911 near the intersection of NW Livingston Street and NW North Road. When deputies arrived they found a female dog inside the bag.

“Initially we thought she was an older dog. And you know we all concluded she was an older dog just by the gray in her eyes and muzzle,” said sheriff’s office spokeswoman Jessica Tkac. “What they’ve been able to estimate, they [veterinarians] actually think she’s closer to around 5-7 years old. So especially not for a pit mix, not a senior dog by any means. They think it’s just probably due to the prolonged stress and exposure, and possible neglect.”

Tkac said the grass under the bag was brown so they’re unsure of how long the dog had been fighting for its life in that trash bag.

“When we got there the bag was partially opened but only because the dog had managed to partially paw it open or crawl her way out. She was not in good shape at all,” she said. “Her hips, ribs, bones, shoulders are protruding off of her body. There is very little muscle tissue at all.”

Tkac said the dog didn’t have an identification microchip.

During an exam at DeSoto Veterinary Hospital Wednesday, the dog was diagnosed with cancer and was euthanized, with the lead detective at the dog’s side.

“It was a heartbreaking decision but we know now she isn’t in pain anymore,” Tkac said Wednesday.

Tkac says they are still receiving leads in the case. “We have every confidence that someone knows this dog. ... Someone has spoken to a neighbor or a friend or someone who may have expressed concerns about what they’re going to do with this dog at some point.” she said.

Tips may be submitted by calling 863-993-4700 or by emailing the assigned detective, Sgt. Bailey at jbailey@desotosheriff.org.

The DeSoto Veterinary Hospital has received dozens of calls wishing to donate toward care for the dog, which staff named “Momma.” If you still wish to donate, the staff isi attempting to set up a fund for future animals without resources needing emergency care. You can donate by contacting:

DeSoto Veterinary Services, 1240 SE Highway 31, Arcadia, FL 34266; 863-993-9924

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