‘This may break your heart’: Deputies find starving dog suffering next to bowl of food in Florida

A DeLand, Florida, man has been charged with animal cruelty after a dog that was found suffering died at an animal hospital.

Deputies said they responded to a home to provide an escort for someone removing her belongings and moving out of the house.

Ronald Winters informed deputies when they arrived that there was a dog on the front porch and added that "the dog wouldn't bite, or even move," police said.

According to a report, a Volusia County deputy found a 13-year-old dog, Maria, under two blankets, “emaciated and soiled,” and “obviously suffering.”

Despite her looking thin, deputies said she was next to a bowl of food that “appeared untouched.”

Maria was taken to a veterinarian for treatment, but it was decided to “let her go in peace,” due to her “deteriorating condition,” police said.

Officials said two cats that were also located on Winters' property were found to be in need of medical attention, although their conditions did not rise to the level of animal cruelty charges. They were taken in by Animal Services to receive treatment.

Those two cats, Grey and JackJack, will be up for adoption at New Hope Animal Shelter in DeLand, deputies said.

Deputies said Winters was taken into custody on a charge of cruelty to animals.

Officials are asking residents who witness an animal suffering or have an animal that has needs they can no longer meet to please call Volusia County Animal Services for assistance at 386-248-1790.

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