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Owner arrested almost a year after after dog dies due to neglected snake bite

Almost a year ago, a dog was left to suffer in pain after a venomous snake bit him. The only solace the animal received was when he was finally cared for. Unfortunately, it was too late for the dog to recover.

But an animal control officer said there is bittersweet justice after the dog’s owner was brought into custody for neglecting his pet.

The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office got a warrant recently and arrested owner David Brown on Aug. 28 after his dog, Bruno, was put down due to a snake bite that was left to fester last year.

David Brown. Credit:

The Animal Welfare League in Charlotte County says Bruno experienced pain for five days before being treated for a snake bite in September 2019. The AWL says the pain was too much for the dog, and it was forced to euthanize him.

According to the AWL, Brown waited too long to get treatment for Bruno. The league also says Bruno was flea-infested, weak, underweight and covered in abscesses by the time they were given a chance to intervene.

“He was very tolerant considering everything that was going on with him and how crummy he felt,” said Officer Reannon Juergensen with Charlotte County Animal Control. “He was still sweet. He would wag his tail and acknowledge you and things like that. So, it’s really sad.”

Nearly a year later, Brown now faces animal cruelty and abandonment charges.

Juergensen says Brown took Bruno to be put down last year, claiming Bruno had cancer. An animal hospital found that it was actually a venomous snake bite that had never been treated.

“The infection was so bad then he ended up becoming septic, and he had to be euthanized unfortunately because of it,” Juergensen said. “It wasn’t from a lack of trying. We provided him with medical care, blood transfusions. His body had just had enough.”

Juergensen says Brown’s recent arrest is bittersweet. She’s glad there’s justice, but it came at a price — Bruno’s life.

“Our success rate is really that the animal is rehabbed and rehomed and goes on to live a good life,” Juergensen said. “That was not this case.”

Brown faces charges for the abandonment of an animal and animal neglect.

He was arrested and has since bonded out of Charlotte County Jail.

Brown’s neighbors told us he has another dog. It was unclear if that dog will remain with him.

Reporter:Andryanna Sheppard
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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