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Friday, May 11, 2012County: Hillsborough
Charges: Felony CTA
Case Images: 1 files available
Alleged: Lafonda S. Calloway
A Bay Area woman has been arrested for allegedly abusing her puppy, causing a broken rib and severe head injuries. Authorities took 32-year-old Lafonda Calloway into custody on Friday.
According to Animal Services, tips from neighbors led investigators to Calloway's home along Astoria Drive. They took the 8-week-old puppy named "Macho" away from the home after they say investigators found classic signs of abuse. Officials say apart from the visible injuries, the puppy would cower and urinate as soon as it saw Calloway.
Animal services took the dog away from Calloway's home and rushed it to emergency medical care.
"I heard it all the time almost everyday," said Billie Jo Reed.
The noises, Billie Jo and her boyfriend David Analetto said they heard, were Calloway abusing her eight week old puppy.
"I heard the dog get hit against the wall," said Analetto.
"She was inside kicking it and I heard it yelp. She had it chained out in the yard all the time. I wanted to go over and say something. It was wrong," said Reed.
Billie Jo and David weren't the only ones upset. Neighbors joined together and signed a petition to have the puppy, Macho, taken away from Calloway.
"Their reports continued to trickle in and the reports became more increasingly violent," said Marti Ryan with Hillsborough County Animal Services.
"The information that we have from witnesses is that this dog was not only kicked, but it was thrown against a wall," added Ryan.
A neighbor who lives next door to Calloway said while she didn't know the alleged abuse was going on, she is thankful those who did took action. "I'm glad that more people are doing something about it. Most people turn their head, you know. Nothing gets done and that poor innocent dog will get hurt over and over and over," said Sharon Boyle.
Calloway is being charged with animal cruelty. She is being held without bond on a probation violation.
The puppy is being treated now and appeared energetic and playful on Saturday. He is still healing, but will be up for adoption within the next few weeks or so.
As for Calloway, this isn't the first time she's been in trouble.
Last year she was charged with abuse of an elderly or disabled adult.
Hillsborough County Animal Services officials say that's not surprising.
"Animal abuse goes hand in hand with abuse and violent crimes against people so it's very important to take this sort of stuff seriously in terms of public safety," Ryan added.
Animal Services said that if an animal is in imminent danger, citizens can contact law enforcement at 911. For information on how to recognize or report animal abuse and neglect, contact Hillsborough County Animal Services at 744-5660.
- myfoxtampabay.com - May 12, 2012 myfoxtampabay.com - May 12, 2012 wtsp.com - May 12, 2012 abcactionnews.com - May 12, 2012 tbo.com - May 12, 2012
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