Lehigh Acres woman arrested for aggravated animal cruelty

Writer: Melissa Montoya
Published: Updated:
Carmen Melendez (CREDIT: Lee County Sheriff’s Office)

A 31-year-old woman was arrested on Thursday for using a prong collar on a dog at her home.

The incident happened on Dec. 7 at Carmen Melendez’s home in the 500 block of Wyoming Road in Lehigh Acres, according to a Lee County Sheriff’s Office Facebook post.

Melendez had two dogs tethered in the backyard without shelter. One of the dogs was wearing a prong collar that had become embedded into the dog’s neck, suffering multiple puncture wounds.

A veterinarian who examined the dog determined the injuries were consistent with neglect and could have been prevented, the sheriff’s office said.

Investigators found the dog collar was purchased to keep the dog from escaping.

An arrest warrant was issued on Dec. 15. She is charged with aggravated animal cruelty. She was located on Thursday and booked into Lee County Jail.

“I am sickened by the fact that this dog was left outside in a prong collar,” said Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno. “I cannot be more clear: Anyone who harms an animal in Lee County, whether intentional or by neglect, will go to jail.”

Melendez was also arrested in 2019 and is accused of pistol-whipping a woman during an argument with a neighbor about a loose dog. She is charged with aggravated assault in that case.


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