LEE COUNTY, Fla. – North Fort Myers resident Michael Bernhart Beckman, age 48, has been arrested for allegedly stabbing one of his dogs.
According to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO), the case unfolded on May 9, 2010, when authorities received a call reporting that a man at 228 State Street in North Fort Myers had stabbed one of his dogs.
Lee County Domestic Animal Services (LCDAS) responded to assist Sheriff's deputies; the injured dog was transported the canine to Animal ER of Southwest Florida for emergency medical care. A second dog on the property was also confiscated.
Michael Bernhart Beckman was arrested by LCSO and charged with felony animal cruelty. Under State Statute 828.12 (2) it is a felony in the third degree for a person to intentionally commit an act to any animal which results in a cruel death, or excessive or repeated infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering. A third degree felony is punishable by a maximum file of $10,000, up to five years in jail, or both.
The dogs, named Thelma and Louise, were taken to LCDAS after Thelma received emergency treatment for her stab wounds. LCDAS will petition the court for custody of both dogs so they may be adopted into new homes.
LCDAS urges anyone who is aware of any type of animal cruelty or neglect to report it to their agency for investigation at (239) 533-7387 (LEE-PETS).
Anyone who would like to help Thelma or other victims of animal cruelty may send their donation to the Animal Care Trust Fund at 5600 Banner Drive, Fort Myers, FL 33912. Donations may also be made online at LeeLostPets.com.