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Polk County man arrested after found negligent caring for his 5 dogs

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Posted at 11:00 AM, Jan 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-10 11:00:30-05

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. — Polk County officials arrested a man for animal cruelty on Wednesday.

The Polk County Sheriff's Office said detectives arrested 51-year-old Fernandez Gunter after an investigation found he was negligent in the care of his five dogs.

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One dog's skin grew around the chain on its neck.

An anonymous tip to the PCSO Animal Control section said that a dog in Gunter's backyard was injured, and several puppies appeared malnourished.

Animal control and the sheriff's office responded to check on the dog's well-being over the next several days. Initially, no resident was able to be located but the property was posted for the resident to contact animal control.

However, no one from the home contacted animal control.

With a follow-up, detectives found the injured adult dog that had an embedded collar, three puppies and a dead puppy.

The dogs were all flea-infested and there was no food or water available to them. The dogs were surrendered to animal control and taken to the animal shelter.

Due to the adult dog's skin growing around the chain, surgery was required. Out of three of the puppies, one had to be euthanized the other two were put out to be adopted.

It makes no sense whatsoever to have pets if you're just going to leave them
outside and totally neglect them. Animals deserve our love and we have a
responsibility to care for them properly. Fortunately, we've been able to
adopt two of them out to good homes, and hopefully the third will be able to
be adopted soon.
Sheriff Grady Judd

Detectives determined that Gunter failed to act and provide necessary care by seeking treatment for the adult dog, causing pain and suffering.

Gunter was arrested and transported to the Polk County Jail. He was charged with animal cruelty.