WEBVTT MONTH.WESH 2'S CLAIRE METZ REPORTS AFAMILY SPOKESMAN DENIES ANY KINDOF ABUSE OR NEGLECT.>> MY BROTHER AND HIS WIFE,TREAT THOSE DOGS LIKE THEY'RETHEIR BABIES.CLAIRE: THE COUPLE FACINGCHARGES AT THIS HOME ON DEBARYDRIVE DIDN'T WANT TO GO ONCAMERA, BUT RELATIVE RAYMONDFIGUEROA DID TO DEFEND HISFAMILY.THOSE CHARGES AREUNSUBSTANTIATED AND NOT TRUE. CLAIRE: NOVEMBER 28, ANIMALCONTROL OFFICERS DISCOVERED AFEMALE PITBULL MIX DEAD AND MALE PITBULL MIX NEAR DEATH.THIS IS THE SURVIVING ANIMALWITH VISIBLE RIB AND HIP BONES.A VETERINARIAN HAS SINCEDETERMINED THE DOGS WERESTARVING.THE VET SAID THE DOGS HAD OTHERHEALTH ISSUES, BUT ACCORDING TOTHE REPORT, THE DEFENDANTSALLOWED DOGS TO STARVE ANDBECOME EMACIATED TO THE POINT OFDEATH OR NEAR DEATH.>> WHICH I DON'T UNDERSTAND HOW.THEY EACH HAVE THEIR OWN BOWL.THEY EACH HAVE THEIR OWN WATERSUPPLY. CLAIRE: ANIMAL CONTROL WAS FIRSTCALLED TO THAT HOME IN AUGUSTWHERE THEY FOUND A LARGE PEN OUTBACK, PLENTY OF WATER, AND THEYSAY BECAUSE THE DOGS APPEARED INGOOD HEALTH, NO ACTION WASTAKEN.THEN, A WEEK BEFORE THE DEAD ANDDYING DOGS WERE FOUND INNOVEMBER, ANIMAL CONTROL WASBACK, NOTED BOTH DOGS COVERED INFLEAS AND THIN.THE OWNERS ALLEGEDLY TOLDOFFICERS THEIR WAS A PLAN TO– THERE WAS A PLAN TO SURRENDERTHEM IN A MATTER OF DAYS, THENONE OF THE DOGS DIED. >> WE THOUGHT MAYBE THERE'SSOMETHING IN THE GRASS, MAYBETHEY CHEWED ON THE GRASS AND WEDON'T KNOW. CLAIRE: FAMILY MEMBERS SAY THEYARE AT A LOSS TO FIGURE OUT HOWTHE ANIMALS, ALLEGEDLY FED TWICEA DAY, STARVED.>> I DON'T SEE HOW, I DON'T SEEHOW. CLAIRE: BUT ANIMAL CONTROLOFFICIALS MAINTAIN THE DOGS WERENEGLECTED, IN ONE CASE, TODEATH.IN DEBARY, VOLUSIA COUNTY,CLAIRE METZ, WESH 2 NEWS.SUMMER: OFFICIALS SAY THE
DeBary couple charged with animal cruelty after dog found dead
VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. —
Police in Orange City have charged a DeBary couple with animal cruelty after one dog was found dead at their home and a second dog near death.
The two were charged this week following an investigation that began last month. A family spokesman denied any kind of abuse or neglect.
"My brother and his wife treat those dogs like they're their babies," said Raymond Figueroa, a relative of the couple.
The couple facing charges at the home on DeBary Drive didn't want to go on camera.
"Those charges are unsubstantiated and not true," Figueroa said.
Animal Control officers discovered a female pitbull mix dead and a male pitbull mix near death on Nov. 28. WESH 2 News obtained a photograph of the surviving animal that shows visible rib and hip bones. A veterinarian has determined the dogs were starving. The vet said the dogs had other health issues, but according to the report, "The defendants allowed dogs to starve and become emaciated to the point of death or near death."
"I don't understand. They each have their own bowl, they each have their own water supply," Figueroa said.
Animal Control was first called to the home in August, when they found a large pen out back and plenty of water. They said because the dogs appeared to be in good health, no action was taken.
Then, a week before the dead and dying dogs were found in November, Animal Control was back and noted that both dogs were covered in fleas and thin. The owners allegedly told officers there was a plan to surrender them in a matter of days. One of the dogs died.
"We thought maybe there's something in the grass. Maybe they chewed on the grass. We don't know," Figueroa said.
Family members said they are at a loss to figure out how the animals, allegedly fed twice a day, starved.
"I don't see how, I don't see how," Figueroa said.
But Animal Control officials maintain the dogs were neglected, in one case, to death.
Officials said the surviving animal was placed with an animal rescue organization and has gained three pounds since he was removed from the home.