ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – A St. Petersburg man claims he never saw a dead and decomposing pit bull puppy that was in a cage at the home where he was housesitting.
Now, he faces charges in connection with the dead puppy’s mother, who was 30 lbs underweight when she was discovered tethered with a chain in the backyard.
Deputies arrested Marcus Aren Adams, age 33, on a charge of cruelty to animals.
Investigators say Adams lives with his mother at a home on 41st Street South and cares for a 1-year-old female pit bull named “Girl”.
The pit bull had a litter of ten puppies two months ago. Seven of the puppies were given away and three were kept at the home. Two of the puppies got sick and died at the home. They were buried. The puppy that survived was kept at the home as a pet.
On Thursday, Pinellas County Animal Control officers were dispatched to the home after receiving a complaint that a dead puppy was found near the property.
Animal control officers arrived and said the adult mother dog could be seen tethered with a chain in the backyard and was malnourished and about 30 lbs underweight. She had injuries around her neck from being tethered.
Adams allegedly told the officers that the mother dog’s three puppies had been buried. However, when officers went into the back yard, they found a decomposed puppy in a dog cage on the back patio. The puppy was was surrounded by liquid and maggots. Officers said only the puppy’s bones appeared intact inside the cage.
The homeowner told officers that they had evacuated for the hurricane and left Adams in charge of the animals because he stayed at the home.
Adams told deputies he only took care of the mother dog and did not know if the puppy was alive or that it was decomposing in the cage, which was located near the back door of the home.
Adams told deputies he went outside multiple times to chain up the adult dog in the back yard, but never noticed the decaying puppy in the cage.
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