Woman arrested for animal abuse after dog was found dead inside home

Woman arrested for animal abuse after dog was found dead inside home (WPEC)

A 1-year-old puppy was found dead over the weekend inside a home.

Deputies said they expected to find the owner deceased after finding the dog, but the owner was fine.

Terri Redstone, 49, was arrested for felony animal abuse.

Deputy Christian Mathisen, a 14-year veteran with the Indian River County Sheriff's Office and a 12-year K9 Unit officer, said he responded to the home for a welfare check when they saw the dog dead in a crate inside the home.

"For animals, this is by far the worst I've seen," he said.

Mathisen said he couldn't fathom someone intentionally neglecting an animal, especially with pounds of dog food in the home, but none of it was given to the dead dog.

"The most tame word I can use is disgusting," he said. "It was disgusting to the point where I actually left."

Redstone was interviewed on scene Saturday. When a deputy asked her when she was last home, she said "this morning." That deputy then asked if everything seemed normal and when she said yes, the deputy asked, "You didn't notice any foul smells or odors?"

Redstone replied, "I just thought it was the garbage."

Later in the interview, Redstone admitted to the deputy she made a mistake and didn't feed the puppy for a week or two. She also said the dog wasn't let out of the crate for at least a week. As horrifying as that is, deputies said that's a lie because they said the puppy was dead in the crate for at least a month.

It's a disturbing case for local law enforcement and the community.

"How could anybody do that? They’re defenseless, they’re like children. They can’t fend for themselves," said Vickie Catalona, who lives across the street.

She said Redstone has some type of medical condition, so she offered to help take care of her dog if she ever needed it.

"If you find it too difficult when you come home to let the dogs out, I’ll be glad to take them for a little walk and let them do their business," Catalona told Redstone.

But Catalona said she was never taken up on her offer.

For the last month, she said she hadn't seen the rottweiler puppy and thought she just kept missing it. When she found out what really happened, she was heartbroken.

"I cried. Nobody on the face of this earth should treat an animal that way," Catalona said. "That animal, that rottweiler was out on that cafe beside her bed. How could anyone sleep in their bed with their decaying pet beside them? That just lets you know right there that there’s something wrong."

Deputies haven't confirmed the dogs crate was next to the woman's bed. They did say another dog was in the home, roaming around when they found the rottweiler dead inside. Mathisen said it wasn't emaciated, but it was extremely thin.

"Hopefully she’ll never be able to own another animal again," Mathisen said.

As of Monday night, the rottweiler puppy is still inside the home. Deputies said they are not allowed to move the dead dog and that the owner is responsible for cleaning up the home, whenever Redstone returns.

She was released on bond Sunday, but wasn't at her home while CBS12 was there all day Monday.

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