Holly Hill, FL – An abandoned pit terrier mix found in terrible physical condition at a Holly Hill dog park leads to the arrest of her owner for felony animal cruelty.
31-year-old Byron W. Smith of Daytona Beach bonded out of Volusia County Jail within hours of his booking earlier today.
The Holly Hill Police Department posted a short video of the dog – a female named Bella – on its Facebook page soon after Smith’s arrest.
HHPD chief Steve Aldrich tells us Bella is now in the care of one of his sergeants after she found Bella at Riviera Oaks Dog Park on Alabama Avenue around 1 a.m. last Friday and took her to a nearby animal hospital for evaluation.
According to Smith’s arrest report, Bella was “severely malnourished” and “lying on a blanket covered with feces and urine” when the officer found her. The veterinarian who checked Bella out initially also reported signs of muscle wasting, anemia, fleas and urine scalding.
HHPD officers tracked Smith down later on the same day she was found thanks to Bella’s microchip and he eventually admitted to “overcrating” Bella while she was living with him and his mother inside their Daytona Beach apartment, per the report.
Smith also told officers that he wasn’t “adequately feeding” Bella because he was “overwhelmed” at work and decided to abandon her at the park because he was afraid of “getting into trouble” if he took her to a veterinarian.