BARTOW, FL – On Thursday, June 24, 2021, PCSO Agricultural Crimes detectives arrested and charged 52-year-old Dashong Bonner of Bartow with two counts felony animal cruelty and one count misdemeanor animal cruelty after an investigation into the severe neglect of dogs at her home.
When Animal Control and Ag deputies arrived at 490 9th Avenue in Bartow, they found one dog deceased, and two dogs severely neglected and emaciated. The following is an excerpt from the affidavit, which is very graphic and self-explanatory:
A brown in color female Pit Bull Terrier named Mocha, was located in a wire kennel with no plastic floor, covered in feces, with a 1/2 eaten plastic dog food bag in the kennel. In the bottom of the kennel were pieces of plastic the dog had digested and passed with its feces. The dog could barely stand and was carried to the animal control transport vehicle at the scene. Upon an evaluation of the dog by the Polk County Animal Control Veterinarian the dog was found to have a body score of a 1, with 1 being completely emaciated and 9 being obese. The dog was found to be suffering from heart worms and hook worms, anemic, severely underweight, and weighing only 24.1 pounds at approximately 5 years of age. This dog suffered repeated pain trying to stay alive eating a plastic dog food bag. The dog was unable to escape the wire kennel and attempt to hunt for food or water.
A tan Cur mix female dog named Caramel, was located roaming in the yard of the residence. The dog was severally underweight and was picked up and carried to the animal control transport vehicle at the scene. Upon an evaluation of the dog by the Polk County Animal Control Veterinarian the dog was found to have a body score of a 2. The dog weighed 22 pounds and was determined to be approximately 1 year old. The dog was found to be suffering from hook worms, whip worms, and heart worms. The dog was denied proper food and water or proper care.
A tan Cur mix male dog named Buster, was located in a wire kennel on the open back porch of the residence. The dog was found to be deceased. The dog was removed from the property and taken to Animal Control where it was found to have a body score of a 1. The dog had no visible fat on its body and appeared to be skin and bones. The dog clearly suffered a cruel death by starving to death inside a wire kennel with no food or water, and no way to escape to hunt for food or water. The floor of the kennel had one small piece of very dry feces in it indicating the dog had not had any food over an extended period of time.
The suspect was located at her residence and surrendered ownership of the dogs to the Sheriff’s Office upon contact. While surrendering the dogs the suspect stated she was given the dogs by her ex-husband. She stated the following:
She had bought a bag of dog food a few weeks ago and then one again this past Monday. When asked when the last time she observed or fed the dogs she stated ‘I don’t know.’
When asked who is responsible for feeding and watering the dogs she stated she tells her kids to when she remembers to tell them. Upon showing her where the dogs were located on the open back porch and the conditions they were in, she stated she had no idea the area looked like that, and that she didn’t know the dog was dead in one of the kennels. When asked if she could smell the odor of the feces and the area where the dead dog was located she stated she was not home much and did not smell it.”
Bonner was booked into the Polk County Jail, where she is being held on $2,500 bond ($1,000 per felony charge, $500 for the misdemeanor).
“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.” – Grady Judd, Sheriff