Palm Coast woman arrested on three counts of animal cruelty

The three dogs were emaciated and covered in fleas and dirt.
Aug. 26, 2018

A Palm Coast woman was arrested on Aug. 14 on an active felony warrant for three counts of aggravated animal cruelty, according to a news release by the Flagler County Sheriff's Office.

Rochely Ann Lopez-Colon, 25, allegedly left three dogs unattended, trapped on the back porch of her home without food or water for 16 days.

Deputies and Palm Coast Animal Control officers rescued the dogs from the home, located on Richmond Drive in Palm Coast. The charging affidavit noted that there was a lot of dog feces and that the dogs were emaciated. Their bone structures and ribs were visible. Two dogs, a German shepherd mix and a husky, were able to walk with Animal Control officers to a truck, but the third dog, a pit bull terrier, required an emergency animal stretcher. 

In addition, all three dogs had varying degrees of muscular atrophy, as well as large amounts of fleas and dirt in their fur. The pit bull terrier was unable to stand and had bloody diarrhea oozing from its anus. 

“There is no excuse for what happened to these dogs,” Sheriff Rick Staly said in a release.  “This arrest is another example of agencies working together to fight animal cruelty.”

This case came to FCSO's attention through cooperation with Palm Coast Animal Control, Flagler Animal Hospital, Flagler Humane Society, the Department of Children and Families (DCF) and the original tip received from a citizen following the “see something, say something.”

Lopez-Colon had not been in the house since July 30, according to the affidavit. She told deputies that the German shepherd mix and the husky belonged to her husband because "he paid for them," and the pit bull terrier belonged to another woman, although she was caring for it. She also said she told the humane society that the dogs were not hers but that she was trying to take care of them. 

Lopez-Colon was arrested and booked into the Sheriff Perry Hall Inmate Detention Facility with $10,500 bond for the animal cruelty charges. Upon arrival at the jail, additional charges for possession of a controlled substance and introduction of contraband to an inmate facility increased bond by $5,000.