BELLE GLADE, Fla. (CBS Tampa) – A local man is facing animal cruelty charges after a search warrant on his home revealed numerous abused dogs, one of which had its own leg cut off with a handsaw.
The Palm Beach Post is reporting that last Tuesday, authorities went into the residence of Luc Jean Baptiste, 48, armed with a warrant.
They initially were on location to investigate a shooting, of which Baptiste was reportedly the victim.
Upon entering the house, however, police discovered seven adult dogs and four puppies living in unfit and unsanitary conditions that were not in compliance with county ordinances, in regards to either size, construct or cleanliness.
One dog was found with her front right paw removed. An investigation into the matter revealed that Baptiste, thinking he could save the dog from an injury she had sustained, tried to amputate the leg by placing duct tape over her mouth, hogtying her, and removing the limb with a handsaw.
“It was completely barbaric and unnecessary, especially with all of the resources that exist in this county,” Capt. David Walesky, operations manager for PBCACC, told CBS Tampa. “It was a horrific experience that dog had to go through.”
He added that, though Baptiste had already been taken in after the search for a firearm violation, just two days later the police had ample evidence to process him into the system all over again on animal cruelty charges.
Officials and employees at the PBCACC have named the amputee “Karma,” and are doing all they can to save her and the other dogs recovered from the scene.
All of the animals are presently on the mend, after being properly fed and rid of parasites. Karma will need additional surgery – for both her leg, and a serious uterine infection she acquired – and training.
The PBCACC is now planning to petition the courts for ownership of the animals, despite the fact that Baptiste is attempting to claim no responsibility for them.
“Even if he’s claiming he’s not responsible (for the animals), he obviously was,” Walesky explained. “So we have to get a judge to … award us the animals.”
Once they legally own them, the PBCACC will look into finding homes or appropriate rescue facilities for the dogs after they are returned to full health.