DeSoto County deputies continue to investigate dog left in trash bag

Reporter: Breana Ross
Published: Updated:

The search is on for the culprit who left an emaciated dog in a trash bag in DeSoto County.

The dog survived but is severely malnourished and received professional care.

The dog was found by someone who was out walking their own dog and an oddly-shaped garbage bag sitting on the side of the road.

The person took a closer look and realized it was a dog trying to crawl out of the bag. They called 911.

“It’s heartbreaking and infuriating,” said Jennifer Bailey, a detective sergeant with the criminal investigative division of the DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office. “She was only able to move the front part of her body. I am not sure if she is paralyzed or if she was just so weak. Her ribs, her spine, her hips, everything was perturbing probably worst than I’ve seen in most cases.”

The dog had no collar, no chip and no owner in sight.

A rainstorm washed away fingerprints on the garbage bag but that won’t stop deputies from finding the person responsible for dumping the dog.

“I’ve been taking photos to the vet clinic in our area,” Bailey said. “At one point she was loved by someone. She’s not a young dog. I’m hoping that somebody will be familiar with her just providing years of care.”

Someone has to know the owner, Bailey said.

“We just need somebody to come forward,” she added.

While deputies work the case, people at DeSoto County Animal Services care for the dog.

“She’s very sick, weak. She hasn’t eaten anything. She won’t eat right now. She’s drinking a lot of water but they also are just picking her up to move her. She won’t move on her own,” said Sara Walker, public information officer for DeSoto County.

Animal Services hopes a local vet or a medical rescue team can help nurse the dog back to health.

This case has dog lovers like Ashley Dubose fired up.

“How could somebody do that? It’s just old dogs and that’s another thing that kind of touched me a little bit is because you know just because it’s old doesn’t mean you just throw it out,” Dubose said.

Dozens including Dubose have called to see how they can help the dog.

Dubose said she felt disgust when she saw the Facebook post from authorities about the dog.

“How could somebody do that,” she said.

Dubose has reached out to the sheriff’s office to see if she can adopt the dog. She has three dogs of her own.

The dog is not going to be up for adoption for a while, Bailey said.

“She’s going to have a long way to go before she’s able to be healthy,” Bailey said.

The person who left the dog faces five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

If you can help DeSoto County deputies find the owner of the dog, tips may be submitted by calling 863-993-4700 or by emailing Sgt. Bailey at

Copyright ©2023 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.