Published: May 22, 2014 10:28 PM EDT
Updated: May 22, 2014 11:51 PM EDT

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Lee County Domestic Animal Services investigators found a dog found dead, surrounded by helpless puppies at a home on Demery Circle in Fort Myers.

"Princess," a female pitbull had been tethered to a pole, wrapped so tightly, she eventually strangled herself in front of her puppies. Investigators say there was no food, no water and a cage covered in a garbage bag was the animals' only shelter from the hot sun. "The dog was left outside with these little puppies, with no care," Lt. Tony Backhurst said. "Unfortunately, they're all too typical conditions we see on a daily basis."

On May 1st, Lee County's new Cruelty-Free Lee pet laws went into effect, banning permanent outdoor tethering. Investigators say this case is a prime example why the laws are needed. "If there was no problem, we wouldn't need a solution," Backhurst said. "That's the issue we deal with. This dog died, as our vet described, an agonizing death. It suffered." 

Inside the shelter, the five puppies are doing better and sticking together.

We stopped by the owner's home but didn't find anyone. Neighbors say the people moved in just a few months ago but they're hardly ever around. "It's sad, you know," neighbor Scott Mitchell said. :If you are going to have a dog, you should take care of it." 

At this point the dog's owner has not been charged. LCDAS says they are investigating that person. Count on WINK News to follow this case and let you know if that owner is arrested.