Saturday, June 15, 2024

Arrest made after recently adopted dog is found dead in a plastic bag at Fort De Soto Park 

On May 14, 2024, at approximately 6:45 p.m., deputies assigned to the Patrol Operations Bureau responded to the area of East Beach at Fort Desoto Park for reports of a deceased dog wrapped in a plastic bag. 

When deputies arrived, they located a male bulldog mix with its head decapitated, floating in the mangroves. Pinellas County Animal Services scanned the dog for a microchip, identifying the dog as a 4-year-old bulldog mix named Dexter.

Deputies learned the suspect, 66-year-old Domingo R. Rodriguez of St. Petersburg, adopted Dexter from Pinellas County Animal Services on May 10, 2024. 

Deputies spoke with Rodriquez at his residence, where he admitted to adopting  Dexter and told them that Dexter must have run away overnight on May 10th. Rodriguez admitted to traveling to Fort Desoto Park on May 11, 2024, and provided deputies with inconsistent statements. Multiple cameras placed Rodriguez in the area of the park in the morning hours of May 11, 2024, with a large cooler in the bed of his truck. Bags consistent with the one the dog was found in were observed at Rodriguez’s home.

Rodriguez’s wife confirmed that Dexter was alive on the evening of May 10th, and when she awoke on May 11th, her husband and dog were both gone.

Deputies arrested Rodriguez and charged him with one count of Animal Cruelty and one count of Disposal of Bodies of Dead Animals and transported him to the Pinellas County Jail. 

The investigation continues. 

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