Woman charged after dog found roaming in poor health


Published: Monday, January 4, 2010 at 3:58 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 4, 2010 at 3:58 p.m.

A Gainesville woman was charged with animal cruelty after a dog she claimed was dead was found roaming unattended. County officials said the animal was in such poor health that it had to be euthanized.

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Darla Rebecca Harmon

ALACHUA COUNTY JAIL

Darla Rebecca Harmon, 38, of 2100 S.E. 51st St., was arrested at 3:50 a.m. Monday on a warrant that charged her with causing an animal's cruel death.

According to court records, Alachua County Animal Services investigators found a dog known to the agency as Isabell -- a brown, female bulldog mix -- roaming in the roadway near Harmon's home in September. Investigators said they had picked up Isabell in June when she had gotten loose and that Harmon had received a mandatory care form when she subsequently picked up Isabell from the county's animal shelter.

Investigators said that when they checked to see if Harmon had followed the care instructions, Harmon told them the dog had died.

The dog was found roaming in September, and a veterinarian determined she was severely malnourished as well as infested with internal and external parasites, had severe heart worm disease and other life-threatening conditions including an untreated eye condition and at least one tumor. Rehabilitation efforts were unsuccessful, and the animal was euthanized, according to county records.

Harmon was being held at the Alachua County jail on Monday awaiting a first court appearance.

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