Bradenton dog owner arrested on felony animal cruelty charges


BRADENTON -- A dog owner who police say is responsible for abusing nine dogs has been arrested on two warrants charging him with third-degree felony animal cruelty, according to the Bradenton Police Department.

Derris Sturdivant, 31, was arrested Sunday and taken to Manatee County jail, where he is being held on bonds totaling $50,000.

According to a release, the nine dogs were seized April 12-13 at a home in the 1100 block of Third Street West after a police raid in response to complaints of drug activity in the home.

"One of the smaller dogs had injuries to his head, ear and tail and was tethered to a tree by a heavy chain," the release states. "None of the dogs had food."

According to police, neither electricity nor running water was connected to the house where these dogs were caged and there were several violations cited by the Animal Control officers.

Police said all of the dogs were taken to a secure facility for medical examinations performed by a certified veterinarian. Two of the nine dogs were suffering from injuries and neglect from not receiving care for these injuries and are now considered evidence, the release states.

Sturdivant claimed ownership of all of these dogs and has not cooperated with the investigation, police said. Once the dogs are free of any injuries, they will be put up for adoption.