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Sheriff: Woman arrested for animal cruelty after dogs found dead, emaciated

The sheriff's office called it "the worst case of animal cruelty they've encountered in a very long time."
Credit: Polk County Sheriff's Office

BARTOW, Fla. — WARNING: The dog photos at the bottom of this story may be disturbing to some viewers. Audience discretion is advised.

Polk County deputies say they arrested a woman Thursday in "the worst case of animal cruelty they've encountered in a very long time."

Agricultural crimes detectives say Dashong Bonner, 52, severely neglected dogs in her home, leaving one to die.

Deputies arrived to Bonner's home on 9th Avenue near Wabash Street in Bartow to find one dog dead and two others "severely neglected and emaciated" in their crates, according to a press release from the sheriff's office.

The sheriff's office says two of the dogs, a pit bull terrier and a cur mix, could barely stand and had several medical issues, like heartworm and hookworm. The pit bull, which weighed just 24.1 pounds, was found inside a wire kennel and tried to stay alive by eating a plastic dog food bag, the law enforcement report says.

The cur mix was found roaming the yard, according to deputies, and weighed just 22 pounds. The third dog, another cur mix, was found dead inside a wire crate and "appeared to be skin and bones," authorities said.

The sheriff's office says Bonner told them she was given the dogs by her ex-husband and didn't know the last time she took care or fed them. When asked who was responsible for giving the dogs food and water, deputies say she told them she tells her kids to when she remembers.

Bonner is charged with two counts felony animal cruelty and has been booked into the Polk County Jail, where she is being held on $2,500 bond.

"Our Ag Crimes detectives and Animal Control personnel have seen some pretty awful things, but this is the worst case of animal cruelty they've encountered in a very long time. These dedicated men and women are working around the clock restoring health to these two severely neglected dogs. It's a shame we didn't get there in time to save them all. We appreciate the anonymous citizen who saw something, and said something," Sheriff Grady Judd said.

Credit: Polk County Sheriff's Office

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