MANATEE -- The cases of two men arrested on animal cruelty charges over the past month are working their way through the court system.
William T. Bell, 41, was arraigned Friday and faces a hearing before Judge Gilbert Smith at 8:30 a.m. June 22 on charges that he used a cord on April 25 to tie Blackie, a 2-year-old black pit bull mix, to a 30-pound dumbbell and place the dumbbell in the Manatee River near the DeSoto Bridge in Palmetto.
Blackie, who was later discovered treading water for 15 minutes over his head near where Bell was fishing, was rescued unhurt by a Palmetto police officer, according to a Palmetto police report.
Bell told police officers that he was exercising the dog for someone to make it stronger.
Blackie was later returned to its owner, the police report stated.
Felix Joe Carrizales, 28, is scheduled to be arraigned June 17 after he was arrested May 13 for not seeking medical care for his brown and black chow/Labrador retriever mix named Bear.
Bear had an open wound the size of a large fist on the left side of his face near his mouth, according to a Manatee County Sheriff’s Office report.
Carrizales had told deputies that he noticed a red spot growing on Bear’s face for several weeks, but did not have money to get medical treatment.
By the time law enforcement officials got involved, Bear had lost so much facial tissue that one could see through his cheek to his back teeth.
A Manatee County vet decided Bear had to be euthanized.
As of Friday, the state had not yet formally charged Carrizales, court officials said.
Richard Dymond, Herald reporter, can be reached at 748-0411, ext. 6686.