Cape Coral man arrested for starving dogs, mistreating other pets

Published: August 12, 2022 2:55 PM EDT
Eric Carl Belanger, 25 (CREDIT: Lee County Sheriff's Office)

A 49-year-old Cape Coral man has been arrested for starving his dogs and mistreating a slew of other animals.

Eric Carl Belanger faces eight charges of cruelty to animals.

According to a Cape Coral Police Department arrest report, Belanger is the owner of seven dogs and six of them were found to be emaciated after authorities were called to his Coral Drive home.

At least three of the dogs were kept in kennels that had feces smeared across the floor, the arrest report states.

Police also found one guinea pig, two iguanas and two tortoises.

One of the iguanas was noted to be “quite thin.” One of the tortoises was housed in an enclosure that was unsanitary and not suitable for its size, according to the arrest report.

Someone living in the home said Belanger rescued the dogs, but then failed to care for them properly.

The person in the home said they told Belanger to take care of the animals properly or they would have them taken away, but Belanger threatened to kill whoever had the animals taken, according to the arrest report.

The person said when they got home from work, they would often feed the dogs unless Belanger said they had been fed.

“I’d ask if he fed them and he said ‘yes’ but as I was seeing the dogs get thinner and thinner… It wasn’t wasn’t every night thing, every few nights yes but when I’m asking you if you fed your dogs, I should be able to trust you on that but I guess that was my mistake,” the person said.

Belanger was already in jail for an earlier aggravated battery charge. He faces that and the additional animal cruelty charges.