06/24/2024

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Domingo Rodriguez

‘This little boy was so sweet and so wonderful’: Dog owner allegedly decapitates bulldog named Dexter the day after adopting him from shelter

Domingo Rodriguez, left, is accused of decapitating a bulldog mix named Dexter, right, one day after he adopted him from a Florida shelter. The dog was found dead in a lake. (Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office)

A man is facing animal cruelty charges after cops say he decapitated a dog he adopted just one day earlier from a Florida shelter.

According to a probable cause arrest affidavit, 66-year-old Domingo Rodriguez adopted a bulldog mix named Dexter from Pinellas County Animal Services on May 10. The next day the dog was found in a plastic bag with his head cut off floating in the mangroves of the east beach at Fort De Soto Park.

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    Deputies with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office used the internal chip in the dog to identify Rodriguez as the owner. They learned that he reportedly had adopted Dexter just the day before. Cops also reviewed surveillance camera footage which showed Rodriguez’s grey pick-up truck with a large cooler in the bed, the affidavit said. Detectives interviewed Rodriguez at his home where he admitted that he had adopted Dexter and drove to the park that morning. He allegedly said he stayed at the park for 20-25 minutes before leaving.

    Rodriguez’s wife said the dog was “alive and well” before she left to work the morning of May 11 and both her husband and Dexter were gone when she returned, according to the affidavit. Investigators also allegedly found bags similar to the one where the dog was found. In addition to animal cruelty, Rodriguez also faces a charge of improper disposal of a dead animal.

    Pinellas Animal Services posted in a statement on Facebook that it is grieving for Dexter.

    “Dogs like Dexter who arrive as strays, many injured and scarred, are the reason animal welfare workers and volunteers get up every morning to do what we do. Our jobs are full of wonderful rewards, especially when we receive updates showing our adoption dogs and cats resting easy in loving homes, but an event like this breaks our hearts,” the statement said.

    The agency released another statement to Tampa NBC affiliate WFLA that it screens for potential adopters for any prior animal cruelty charges or issues with other pets’ licenses and vaccinations. No such problems popped up with Rodriguez, the agency said.

    “You think they are going to have a wonderful life, never in a million years would you think that something so bad, so tragic could happen to them,” volunteer Robin Warniment told the TV station. “This little boy was so sweet and so wonderful. All he ever wanted to do was get on your lap, he didn’t want to play with toys, and he might have wanted to play fetch a little bit.”

    Deputies took Rodriguez to the Pinellas County Jail where he has since posted a $5,150 bond. His attorney did not immediately return a phone call for comment.

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    The post ‘This little boy was so sweet and so wonderful’: Dog owner allegedly decapitates bulldog named Dexter the day after adopting him from shelter first appeared on Law & Crime.