Dogs Get Double Abused
Ft Pierce, FL - Last summer, Ft. Pierce police officers seized 29 pit bulls from a home in Ft. Pierce and arrested their owner, Nahume Belvilus, for animal cruelty. They suspect Belvilus abused the dogs, raising them as bait for dog fights. The St. Lucie County Humane Society recommended euthanizing almost all of the dogs, but Belvilus’ defense attorney recommended another solution: a no-kill shelter in Georgia named, Homeless Pets Foundation.
Prosecutors agreed and a judge signed off on a court order to send 14 of the animals to the shelter. Frank Andrews, Executive Director of the St. Lucie County Humane Society says: "The implication was this was a nice solution a win-win solution for everyone where these animals would be transported they would be housed in a facility where they could be rehabilitated...We went along with the sworn testimony that this was going to happen."
But the trucks and the dogs never made it to Georgia.
Police came across two of the dogs while investigating a drug case in Ft. Pierce. The rest of the dogs were found scattered about St. Lucie and Okeechobee counties, including 5 at a Seminole Indian reservation. The Humane Society’s director says the animals, again, were found malnourished and in deplorable conditions. Andrews believes "there was collusion big-time between the parties involved." He believes the events were planned not random.
Police are looking into a possible connection between Belvilus and the man who picked them up on behalf of the shelter, Mark Hawthorne. For now the "double" abused dogs are recovering, once again, at the Humane Society.
04/03/08: Humane Society Finds Dogs After Being Bamboozled