PCSO: man’s dog found with collar embedded into skin, 1 of 4 puppies dead

Polk County

POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — The Polk County Sheriff’s Office said it arrested a Winter Haven man after discovering he was not taking care of his dog and her four puppies, one of which was dead and another having to be euthanized.

Polk County Animal Control responded to the backyard of a home in Winter Haven Dec. 8 after receiving a tip regarding a possibly injured dog and four puppies not being cared for.

The dog belonged to Fernandez Gunter, 51, the sheriff’s office said.

When authorities responded to the home, they found a female dog accompanied by her four puppies, one of which had died. The three others were thin, the sheriff’s office said.

Animal control deputies said the adult dog was very scared, and the chain collar around her neck was so tight it had become embedded into her skin. There were also a lot of fleas and no apparent access to food or water.

After being surrendered to Animal Control, one of the surviving three puppies had to be euthanized. Animal Control’s veterinarian surgically removed the collar from the adult dog’s neck.

Gunter was arrested Wednesday, Jan. 8, and charged with felony cruelty to an animal.

Two of the puppies have already been adopted to good homes, the sheriff’s office said. The adult female is recovering “nicely” at Animal Control and will eventually be available for adoption. The sheriff’s office has named her “Stitch.”

Gunter was released after paying his $1,000 bail.

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