New bill would make animal cruelty a felony crime

Reporter: Gina Tomlinson
Published: Updated:
Seven the dog. (WINK News photo.)
Seven the dog. (WINK News photo.)

A new leash on life.

Seven the dog still loves people. But that may be hard to believe if you know her past.

The 3-year-old pit bull was shot multiple times by a Lehigh Acres man before she was taken in by Big Hearts for Big Dogs Director Trinity Hansen.

“We heard her story and met her and she was such an incredibly sweet girl,” Hansen said.

Lee County Deputies carried Seven out in a towel after luring her away from a wooded area she escaped to after being shot.

While she was in the animal hospital, Deputies made regular visits to see how Seven was doing.

“For a dog that would have every right to mistrust humans, would fear humans,” said Gary Levine, of LCSO, “I sat on the floor and she came over and just started licking my face.”

The state attorney dropped the charges against the shooter.

“He admitted he shot her,” Hansen said. “He should have been punished.”

But a new animal cruelty bill is pushing for more justice for animals like Seven. Violators would receive felony charges.

Hansen supports the bill.

“People that victimize animals generally will move on to victimize people,” Hansen said.

The bill would mean anyone that is convicted of animal cruelty or sexually exploiting an animal could face up to seven years in prison.

While Hansen hopes the bill will pass, she believes more needs to be done at a micro level.

“It’s the community that has to change things,” Hansen said. “It’s the community that has to stop.”

Hansen said she hopes Seven will find a family soon because she deserves it.

“Considering what she’s been through,” Hansen said, “I hope she finds a home where people appreciate how loving, and friendly and giving.”


Seven is ready to be adopted. If you think you are a good fit, visit the Big Heart for Big Dogs website.

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