Sarasota woman accused of killing dog so no one could have it - WFLA News Channel 8

Sarasota woman accused of killing dog so no one could have it

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A photo of Shelley Bezanson and Diamond at the Sarasota Humane Society. Photo courtesy Sarasota Co. Sheriff's Office A photo of Shelley Bezanson and Diamond at the Sarasota Humane Society. Photo courtesy Sarasota Co. Sheriff's Office
Shelley Bezanson was charged with cruelty to animals. Sarasota Co. Jail booking photo Shelley Bezanson was charged with cruelty to animals. Sarasota Co. Jail booking photo
PHILADELPHIA, PA (WFLA) -

Sarasota County deputies say a woman killed her own dog because she didn't want anyone else to own it.

Authorities say 28-year-old Shelley Bezanson choked her 7-year-old pit bull, Diamond, with its own chain.  She's now being charged with a felony.

On November 14th, a Sarasota County deputy was sent to a home on Base Avenue in Venice.

According to an anonymous tip, 28-year-old Shelley Bezanson went to her mother's house that day to bury her dog, Diamond, which authorities say Bezanson killed herself.

"It was prolonged, it was painful, it was torturous, and it was a horrible, horrible death for this dog to die," said sheriff's office spokesperson Wendy Rose.

The sheriff's office says Bezanson choked the 7-year-old pit bill with its own chain.  Bezanson claimed she had a breakdown at the time, and didn't realize her actions were wrong.

Authorities say otherwise.

"She clearly knew what she did was wrong. She turned up the music very loudly as she was killing the dog because she didn't want neighbors to hear it," Rose said.

She told deputies that she faced eviction for keeping Diamond, but officials are skeptical of that because she had other animals in her home too.

Officials say Bezanson tried to have the dog euthanized.

"Ms. Bezanson had been trying to convince her veterinarian for a couple of months to euthanize her dog, and the veterinarian refused, because there was no ethical reason to do so. The dog was in fine health," said Rose.

According to the affidavit, Bezanson told an investigator, "I promised Diamond we would be together until the end and this was the end."

Diamond's story started at the Humane Society of Sarasota County.  In October 2012, workers at the Humane Society of Sarasota County found the dog abandoned and tied to a pole.

"Diamond was loved by all of our staff here," said HSSC executive director Kristi Dorman.

Dorman said Bezanson went through an extensive vetting process, and was able to adopt Diamond in January 2013.  She says Bezanson never reached out to them about returning the animal.

"We do accept owner surrendered animals all the time," Dorman said, "Unfortunately she didn't contact us for whatever reason. Otherwise this could've been a very different story."

The Humane Society of Sarasota County would have been able to take the animal back, or find a new home.  Officials say this crime is absolutely tragic and easily preventable.

Bezanson was arrested on Friday, and charged with animal cruelty.  Authorities say it took time to get probable cause to charge her.

She is being held at the Sarasota County jail on $25,000 bond.

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