And the Verdict is… GUILTY!! YES!!!
At the end of November, 2008, this dog, Casper, starved to near death, plus several other sick, neglected dogs were found at the home of Wilmer Fernandez, 34 and Aixa Rodriguez, 33. Although Fernandez and Rodriguez lived in a nice house in Carrolwood, FL, had a Cadillac and Lexus sitting in the driveway, nice furniture and possessions in the house, they claimed they had no money to feed or care for their pets.
Casper, a 9-month-old Boxer when found, weighed only 32 pounds when he should have weighed 60-80 pounds. He’d had no water for at least three days based on a vet’s testimony and the starvation had been ongoing, he also had skin problems.
Charged with felony animal cruelty, Fernandez and Rodriguez said they didn’t have any money, they said they fed Casper twice a day but because of some mysterious illness he kept losing weight, they said he kept turning his water bowl over which is why he was dehydrated to near death, they said they tried to treat his skin problems with OTC shampoos and treatments, they said they were loving pet parents.
“Casper was a part of the family,” Rodriquez testified. “He was like a child to us.”
“It is awful what happened to Casper,” said Roxanna Solis Smith, Fernandez’s attorney. “They did the best they could with what they had.”
Initially offered a plea deal of two years jail plus three years probation which they turned down, they’ve already been prohibited from ever owning pets again, they now face up to 5 years in prison. Let’s hope the sentencing judge sentences them to the maximum punishment!! Casper was punished for no reason except that he lived with a pair of heartless wastes of human life. And these people have children too!!
As for Casper, he now has a new home and a new owner who loves and pampers him. His weight is up to about 72-pounds. His new owner, Pam Taylor said that Casper wouldn’t even eat a hot dog at first because he didn’t know what it was. No doubt he does now as well know what all kinds of other doggie delicacies are!
What a change from the skeletal, near dead dog deputies found in November!! He’s a beautiful boy and now he’s got the life that he, and all dogs, so well deserve!!
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