San Carlos Park woman accused of neglecting chihuahua for 2 years

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Martha Mendez-Tuburcio, 22. Credit: Lee County Sheriff’s Office

A woman from San Carlos Park was arrested Monday after deputies say she neglected her pet chihuahua for around two years.

On Jan. 17, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office says it was notified of an animal cruelty incident that occurred on Linden Road. When deputies arrived, they found a chihuahua that looked malnourished. An animal control officer arrived to take custody of the dog.

On Jan. 20, detectives received an update that the chihuahua, named JellyBean, was in poor health. They also learned JellyBean’s owner, 22-year-old Martha Mendez-Tiburcio, tried to pick up the dog from Lee County Domestic Animal Services; however, due to the dog’s condition and the ongoing investigation, she signed forms to surrender it.

Detectives continued investigating and learned JellyBean has been sick for around two years, and Mendez-Tuburcio had neglected to take care of it, causing unnecessary pain and suffering. On Monday, she was arrested and now faces a charge of animal cruelty.

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