Shocking neglect: Untreated cancer

PUNTA GORDA, Florida (WBBH) – In her 12 years on the job, Charlotte County, Florida Animal Control Officer Reannon Juergensen hasn’t dealt with cruelty and neglect cases like this one.

“One of the worst neglect cases I’ve seen, to definitely rank in the top five. It’s very evident that there is something very wrong with this dog,” says Juergensen.

That much was clear even to Cricket’s owner, Ronald Rhinesmith.

He was arrested on Friday and charged with animal cruelty and neglect.

When asked by investigators why he let he dog suffer from cancer and malnutrition, he stated that he didn’t have enough money to pay for treatment.

That excuse wasn’t enough for neighbors looking at pictures of Cricket.

“I didn’t know she was in that bad of shape,” says neighbor Kevin Barone.

“I would’ve had that dog put down a long time ago,” Barone said.

Juergensen agrees saying it would’ve saved Cricket from months of pain.

“There’s other options, there’s other avenues that you can take out there, that way your animal doesn’t have to suffer, he opted not to do any of them and just left her there.”

When Cricket was found she was infested with fleas, had skin infections and tumors.

Her condition was so bad animal control officers couldn’t save her.

Rhinesmith was released from jail after posting bail.

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