UPDATE: Injured dog left to die in North Fort Myers dog park

CREATED Jan. 31, 2014

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FORT MYERS, Fla. - An injured dog was left to die in a North Fort Myers dog park this week and now Lee County Domestic Animal Services is investigating.

A visitor to Judd Park found the abandoned pug mix on Monday.  The female dog was about seven-years-old, was wearing a sweater and left in its bed.

The good Samaritan took her to a nearby animal hospital, but a ruptured tumor on her stomach had gotten so bad, it couldn't be fixed and she had to be euthanized. 

"To just leave a dog that was probably a loved pet at one point, in that condition, is inexplicable to me," said Lt. Tony Blackhurst with Lee County Domestic Animal Services.

Animal Services has initiated an investigation into this abandonment. The offense is punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000 and/or imprisonment. 

Bill Kennedy, who takes his dog Lucky to the dog park every day, said he didn't recognize the dog. 

"These are hard times for people but rather than abandoning a dog here, you're better off bringing him to a pound or friend or somewhere you can take him rather than just abandoning him," Kennedy said. 

Animal Services officials said since the park is located off US 41, it is possible the owner doesn't live locally and drove from somewhere else to abandon the dog there. 

“There is absolutely no excuse for an animal to go hungry or not receive necessary veterinary care with the services Lee County Domestic Animal Services has available to Lee County residents and their pets.  The Animal Care Trust Fund, supported by private donations, was established for this very reason.  Providing your pet with veterinary care should be the only option rather than the alternative of facing abandonment and cruelty charges,” stated Donna Ward, LCDAS Director.

Anyone who recognizes this dog or has information regarding her owner is asked to call Animal Services at 533-7387, ext. 2, or contact Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS.  Lee County Domestic Animal Services accepts anonymous complaints.