Animal Services employee arrested in Manatee Co. after dog dies in van

Manatee County Jail

MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – An employee of Manatee County Animal Services was arrested after a dog died from being left in a hot van.

According to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, Frederick Allen Brown, 35, transported three dogs to the Animal Services office, located at 305 25th Street West in Palmetto, on May 17. He unloaded two of the dogs, which were deceased, from the van, but left a third dog, which was alive, inside the vehicle.

Deputies say the dog was trapped inside the vehicle overnight and was found dead the next day. An investigation later revealed the dog died of an apparent heat stroke.

Browning told detectives he was in a rush and forgot to remove the animal.

The State’s Attorney’s Office issued a warrant for his arrest and he turned himself into the Manatee County Jail on Thursday.

He’s been charged with one count of cruelty to animals.

No further details regarding the incident have been released at this time.

Rick Yocum, Executive Director of the Humane Society of Manatee County released a statement, saying  “Humane Society of Manatee County is aware of the tragic incident and saddened by the news that a dog lost it’s life.  There is no further comment at this time.”

Manatee County released the following statement:

Manatee County Animal Services (MCAS) can confirm the timeline of events detailed in today’s press release from Manatee Sheriff’s Office regarding an animal cruelty case involving a former MCAS employee. On the same day MCAS staff discovered the deceased animal, MCAS staff informed Manatee Sheriff’s Office of the incident and requested a criminal investigation.

The Sheriff’s Office subsequently opened an investigation, and on May 22 the employee was put on unpaid, administrative leave. He later resigned from MCAS on May 25. Since the investigation began, Manatee County Animal Services has fully cooperated with the Sheriff’s Office.

Immediately following the incident, MCAS Chief Sarah Brown implemented a new policy to avoid a similar lapse in the future. Now, when an MCAS officer returns his or her vehicle at the end of a work shift, a second employee does a thorough inspection to ensure no animals remain in the vehicle.  

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