Women seek justice for a dead dog abandoned in a backpack

Neighbors feel sick to their stomachs after finding a dead animal left in a backpack. While authorities are searching for suspects, they need help from the public to get justice for the animal.

For Michelle Cruz, what started as an ordinary walk to the bus stop turned into a traumatic experience.

She found a dead dog stuffed in a drawstring backpack.

“Why would you stick a dog inside of a bag,” Cruz said, “and throw it on the side of the road?”

The chihuahua’s body was found at the intersection of NE 24th Ave. and Littleton Road in North Fort Myers. Cruz, a dog lover and owner herself, was so distraught she called her friend Mary to help.

“It’s devastating for people to see things like that and just wonder why people do things like this,” Mary Rodriguez said.

Together, the pair called the Lee County Domestic Animal Services right away. Officials took the body, then determined an animal attack likely killed it. That answer was not sufficient for Rodriguez.

“Somebody driving by may have seen a car pulling in,” Rodriguez said. “We would hope that they would contact the county sheriff’s office and tell them what they’ve seen so hopefully this will go further and this dog could have justice.”

Since the dog was not micro-chipped, officials said there is no way to pursue charges. The search for suspects relies on someone providing more information.

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office said if a person is caught leaving a dead dog’s body, he or she will face misdemeanor dumping charges, which will be upgraded if someone witnesses animal abuse.

As for the two women, they hope to live in a world where animals are not treated like this.

“It’s sick; it’s wrong,” Cruz said. “It’s a dog. That’s no way to treat an animal.”

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